Private -and Public Self-Consciousness and Articulation of the Ought Self from Private and Public Vantages


  • Portions of this article were presented at the Sixth Invitational Conference on Personality and Social Behavior, Nags Head Conference Center, 4521 Ocean Boulevard, Highland Beach, FL, June 20–25,1993.1 wish to thank two anonymous reviewers and the associate editor, Jennifer Campbell, for insightful comments on a previous draft of this article.

concerning this article should be addressed to William Nasby, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, 935 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94303.


The current research included two studies that examined whether private and public self-consciousness predicts the extent to which individuals schematically articulate the ought self from private and public vantages. Each study assessed private and public self-consciousness, and tested recognition memory of trait adjectives, which participants had rated according to either private/ought (Study 1) or public/ought (Study 2) self-descriptiveness. Across the studies, the convergent and discriminant patterns of false alarms supported the hypotheses that (a) the private and public facets of the ought self resemble bipolar schemas, and (b) private and public self-consciousness, respectively, predicts the extent to which individuals articulate the ought self from either a private or a public vantage.