In social psychology, self-assessment is the process of looking at oneself in order to assess aspects that are important to one's identity. It is one of the motives that drive self-evaluation, along with self-verification and self-enhancement. Sedikides (1993) suggests that the self-assessment motive will prompt people to seek information to confirm their uncertain self-concept rather than their certain self-concept and at the same time people use self-assessment to enhance their certainty of their own self-knowledge. However, the self-assessment motive could be seen as quite different to the other two self-evaluation motives. Unlike the other two motives through self-assessment people are interested in the accuracy of their current self view, rather than improving their self-view. This makes self-assessment the only self-evaluative motive that may cause a person's self-esteem to be damaged. Functions
So if through self-assessing there is a possibility that a person's self-concept, or self-esteem is going to be damaged why would this be a motive of self-evaluation, surely it would be better to only self-verify and self-enhance and not to risk damaging self-esteem? Trope suggests in his chapter "Self-Enhancement and Self Assessment in Achievement Behaviour" that self-assessment is a way in which self-esteem can be enhanced in the future. For example self-assessment may mean that in the short-term self-assessment may cause harm to a person's self-concept through realising that they may not have achieved as highly as they may like; however in the long term this may mean that they work harder in order to achieve greater things in the future, and as a result their self-esteem would be enhanced further than where it had been before self-assessment.
Within the self-evaluation motives however there are some interesting interactions. Self-assessment is found a lot of the time to be associated with self-enhancement as the two motives seem to contradict each...
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