The centrality of social image in social psychology


Patricia M. Rodriguez Mosquera, Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University, 207 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459–0408, USA.



Social image, or the views that others have of us and our groups, plays a role in a wide array of psychological processes, including impression management, interpersonal relationships, mate selection, intragroup and intergroup processes, the experience and expression of emotion, gender differences in behavior, and the construction and maintenance of social status. The 13 papers included in this special issue reflect the centrality of social image in these and other social–psychological processes. Five major themes integrate this diverse selection of papers: (i) self-presentation of social image; (ii) culture-specific conceptions of social image; (iii) the role of social image in emotion; (iv) respect and status as reflections of social image; and (v) the influence of social image on ingroup and outgroup perceptions. Taken together, these papers illustrate the importance of social image for understanding the complexities of human behavior and point to new ways to study this important topic. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.