Self Verification: A Social Psychological Theory

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Self-verification is a social psychological theory that asserts people want to be known and understood by others according to their firmly held beliefs and feelings about themselves, that is self-views (including self-concepts and self-esteem). Because chronic self-concepts and self-esteem play an important role in understanding the world, providing a sense of coherence, and guiding action, people become motivated to maintain them through self-verification. Such strivings provide stability to people’s lives, making their experiences more coherent, orderly, and comprehensible than they would be otherwise. Self-verification processes are also adaptive for groups, groups of diverse backgrounds and the larger society, in that they make people predictable to one another thus serve to facilitate social interaction. To this end, people engage in a variety of activities that are designed to obtain self-verifying information. According to self-verification, people prefer feedback that is consistent with their self-concept even when that feedback is unflattering. They will not accept feedback that is at odds with their self-concept.

In our hypothesis, men who chose to use urinals for urination are meant to be more confident and have a stronger self-esteem than those who chose to use toilet bowls. They have a stronger self-concept and hence stronger self-verification. They would consider that they did a good job and deserved a more positive feedback. Therefore, a more positive feedback would increase their motivation and performance. If less positive feedback is given to this group of people, they would not receive this feedback as the less positive feedback did not match with their self-concept. For those chose to use toilet bowl, which showed that they had less confidence and lower self-concept, a less positive feedback would cause a higher motivation and performance since they think they deserved less positive feedback. They would accept it and hence it satisfied...
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