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Quantifying self-motives: Functional links between dispositional desires


Aiden P. Gregg, Center for Research on Self and Identity, School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, England, UK.



Previous research has sought to establish the existence, or gauge the relative strength, of key self-evaluation motives (i.e., self-enhancement, self-verification, self-assessment, self-improvement). Here, we attempted, across five samples, to quantify individual differences in self-motive strength and explore their empirical ramifications. We devised brief self-report indices for each self-motive and checked their factor structure, reliability, and validity. We found that self-enhancement covaried mainly with self-verification, and that self-assessment covaried mainly with self-improvement, thus validating key hypotheses regarding their functional links. Moreover, self-enhancement and self-verification covaried with positive personality traits, as well as with preferences for receiving positive feedback and perceptions of its accuracy. In sum, self-reported variations in dispositional self-motive strength form theoretically meaningful patterns. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.