Self‐Evaluation Processes: Motives, Information Use, and Self‐Esteem

Heidi A. Wayment, Shelley E. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT At least three motives guide self‐evaluation: accuracy, self‐enhancement, and self‐improvement. To satisfy these motives, self‐evaluation may utilize different information sources. Self‐esteem may also moderate self‐evaluation strategies. Participants evaluated the frequency and usefulness of eight types of information for meeting the three motives in two life domains: academics and social life. Personal standards information was reported to be used more frequently than objective or social comparison information and also perceived as most useful for meeting all three motives. Individuals low in self‐esteem reported using more social comparison information than those high in self‐esteem, especially upward social comparison information. Individuals with high self‐esteem reported using personal standards information more often than they used social comparison information, while individuals with low self‐esteem relied equally often on these two types of information. Discussion focuses on the role social comparison information may have for those with unstable self‐concepts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-757
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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