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Self-verification 360°: Illuminating the Light and Dark Sides

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Self-verification theory assumes that people actively work to preserve their self-views, even if these self-views are negative. This article considers the benefits and drawbacks of receiving self-verification. Direct benefits of self-verification include psychological coherence, reduced anxiety, and improved health. Indirect benefits include greater intimacy and trust in relationships and more harmonious social interactions. Drawbacks of self-verification strivings are limited to people with negative self-views, who may find that self-verifying evaluations help perpetuate low self-esteem and depression and stabilize unhealthy relationships. Elucidating the processes underlying self-verification may bring more light to its dark side; specifically, it may reveal insights about raising self-esteem and building happiness.
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Keywords: Happiness; Self-acceptance; Self-esteem; Self-verification; Self-views

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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