Contribution to Book
Self-enhancement encompasses motives and self-directed effort to increase the positivity of one’s self-concept or public image. Self-enhancement concerns are often distinguished from orientations toward self-assessment—seeking either diagnostic self-related information (flattering or otherwise), and self-verification—seeking confirmation of existing self-views (e.g., Sedikides,1993; Swann, 1990). Distinctions are also typically drawn between self- enhancement and self-improvement motives. Although identifying and addressing one’s personal shortcomings could improve long-term self-enhancement prospects, the self-enhancement label is usually reserved for circumstances in which priority is placed on enhancing the status of one’s present self rather than one’s future self (e.g., Taylor, Neter, & Wayment, 1995). Self-enhancement striving is undeniably common (e.g., Sedikides, Gaertner, & Toguchi, 2003), but some individuals self- enhance more than others, and people have different self-enhancement goals and use different tactics to achieve them. Narcissism is arguably the personality construct (and pathological disorder) most fundamentally defined by chronic pursuit of self-enhancement.
W. Keith Campbell & Joshua D. Miller
Wallace, H. M. (2011). Narcissistic self-enhancement. In W. K. Campbell & J. D. Miller (Eds.), The handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical approaches, empirical findings, and treatments (pp. 309-318). Wiley. http://doi.org/10.1002/9781118093108.ch27
The Handbook of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Theoretical Approaches, Empirical Findings, and Treatments