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The Irresistible Costs of Impressing Others

Managing Impressions and Regulating Behavior



Author:

Jamie G. McMinn
Psychology Department
Westminster College
mcminnjg@westminster.edu

Abstract:

Recent research indicates that people who boast to friends and those who are modest to strangers are less able to regulate their behaviors on other tasks. This case study presents a scenario in which four college roommates use different strategies to manage the impressions they make at a party. When they are later presented with a tray of tempting cookies, students are asked to predict how many each will eat and to justify their answers using the research results. Designed for use in a social psychology course, the case is also appropriate for introductory, health, and motivation psychology courses.

Objectives:
  • Explore two strategies (bragging and modesty) that people can use to manage the impressions they make on others.
  • Explore a theory that explains how we regulate our behavior.
  • Learn how distinct theories can be combined to develop interesting and novel hypotheses.
  • Understand that psychologists use theory to explain intrapersonal and interpersonal behavior.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a theory as an explanatory tool.
  • Develop analytical and critical thinking skills to identify key social psychological constructs and apply them to intrapersonal and interpersonal behavior.
Keywords: Impression management; bragging; modesty; behavior regulation; self-regulation; motivation; interpersonal; intrapersonal; human behavior; social behavior
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion
Language: English
Subject Headings: Psychology   Sociology  
Date Posted: 07/29/07
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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