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Self-Liking and Self-Competence Separate Self-Evaluation From Self-Deception: Associations With Personality, Ability, and Achievement


  • Preparation of this article was made possible by support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This research was conducted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Arts degree at the University of Toronto awarded to the first author. A portion of these studies was presented at the 15th annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Atlanta, May 2003. The authors wish to thank Dana Iliescu for her assistance with collecting the data for Study 1, all of the research assistants who helped collect the data for Study 2, and Romin W. Tafarodi for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

concerning the article should be sent to: Raymond A. Mar or Jordan B. Peterson, Department of Psychology, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3G3. E-mail: or


ABSTRACT The similarities between measures of self-evaluation and self-deception are reviewed, and a method for discriminating between them is proposed, using personality profiles and relations to ability and achievement. Across two samples, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and Tafarodi's measures of self-evaluation were used to demonstrate that the RSES and Self-Liking are more similar to Self-Deceptive Enhancement than is self-competence. Further, Self-Competence is uniquely associated with cognitive ability and both academic and creative achievement. It is concluded that, along with self-liking, self-competence is a useful form of self-evaluation that should be measured and taken into account in research that has traditionally focused on self-esteem.