Determinants and Implications of Self-perceived Authenticity: Beliefs About Authenticity and Reactions to Behavioral Incongruence
Although many perspectives suggest that authenticity is important for well-being, people do not always have direct access to the psychological processes that produce their behaviors and, thus, are not able to judge whether they are behaving consistently with their personality, attitudes, values, motives, and goals. Even so, people experience subjective feelings of authenticity and inauthenticity, raising the question of factors that influence people’s judgments of whether they are being authentic. The present studies used descriptive, correlational, experimental, and experience sampling designs to examine possible influences on self-judgments of authenticity, including the congruence between people’s behavior and inner dispositions, the positivity of the behavior, their personal beliefs about authenticity, features of the interaction, and trait authenticity. Studies 1A and 1B examined the role of people’s beliefs about authenticity in self-judgments of authenticity. Studies 2A and 2B investigated the criteria that people use to judge their behavior as authentic versus inauthentic and challenged those criteria to see whether self-perceived authenticity was affected. And, Study 3 used an experience sampling design to study people’s experiences of state authenticity in daily life. Together the studies offer insights into the determinants of self-perceived authenticity and show that many factors that influence people’s feelings of authenticity are peripheral, if not irrelevant, to actual authenticity.
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