Personality and Persona: Personality Processes in Self-Presentation


  • Ashley Batts Allen was supported by National Institute on Aging NRSA award AG034716 and is now at the University of North Florida.
  • Note: Corrections added on 6 January 2012 after first publication online on 19 October 2011: The page number for this article should be Page 1191–1218 (not 889–916), and have been corrected in the online version of this article.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mark R. Leary, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708. Email:


This article examines the role that personality variables and processes play in people's efforts to manage their public images. Although most research on self-presentation has focused on situational influences, people differ greatly in the degree to which they care about others’ impressions of them, the types of impressions they try to convey, and their evaluations of their self-presentational effectiveness. Personality constructs such as public self-consciousness, approval motivation, and fear of negative evaluation are associated with the motive to manage one's impressions, and people who differ in self-disclosure and desire for privacy differentially reveal information about themselves to others. Other variables relating to people's self-concepts, interpersonal goals, and traits influence the construction of specific images. Finally, the extent to which people believe they are capable of making desired impressions influences their impression management strategies and how they respond to other people's evaluations.