Impression Management (“Lie”) Scales Are Associated With Interpersonally Oriented Self-Control, Not Other-Deception


  • This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 70/11). Thanks are extended to Hadar Fisher and Roni Stein for their contribution to Study 2.


This article explores the status of impression management (IM) scales (“lie scales,” notably, BIDR-IM) as measures of response bias, offers theory-driven substantive meaning to them, and compares them with self-deception enhancement (SDE). Study 1 (N = 99) compared self-descriptions of actual self and ideal self given in a non-anonymous setting. High similarity indicates self-enhancement. Study 2 (70 dyads) analyzed self-other agreement about IM and SDE. Agreement indicates substantive basis to the scales' scores. Study 3 (N = 182) explored the centrality of self-control in the self-perception of individuals varying in IM and SDE. Study 4 (95 dyads) corroborated self-reports about self-control using informants' reports. In Study 1, IM was associated with relative humility, whereas SDE was associated with self-enhancement. In Study 2, strong self-other agreement was found only for IM, indicating that high IM (but not SDE) is grounded in real-life behavior. In Study 3, self-control was central in the self-perception of high IM and high SDE individuals. In Study 4, strong relations with self-control were corroborated by informants only for IM. IM scales measure substantive content associated with self-control aimed at social adaptation, whereas the SDE scale depicts individuals with a grandiose self-perception, who fail to impress knowledgeable others.