Protective Self-Presentation for Audiences With Interdependent Self-Construals Using Ephemeral Messages: The Case of Humblebragging

Zijian Lew*, Jiemin Looi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review

Abstract

Humblebragging is conceptualized as an understudied form of protective self-presentation where complaints or humility are utilized to avoid incurring social penalties. Although prior research showed the ineffectiveness of humblebragging across multiple contexts, this study identifies conditions when humblebragging prevails over positive self-presentation. In a between-subjects experiment, 377 participants encountered one of four versions of a fictitious person’s self-promotion attempt on Instagram, which differed in terms of self-presentation type (positive self-presentation vs. humblebragging) and message ephemerality (persistent vs. ephemeral). Results indicated that humblebragging was ineffective vis-à-vis task attraction: People who positively self-presented elicited greater task attraction among audiences than people who humblebragged. But among audiences with greater interdependent self-construal, humblebragging was an effective protective self-presentation strategy: People who humblebragged elicited as much social attraction as people who positively self-presented. Mediation analyses also revealed that humblebragging was seen as manipulative, which diminished audiences perceived social attraction and task attraction of the message sender.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2024
Event74th Annual International Communication Association Conference, ICA 2024 - The Star Gold Coast, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 20 Jun 202424 Jun 2024
https://www.icahdq.org/mpage/ica24
https://www.icahdq.org/mpage/ICA24-program (Conference Program)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/133zTanS54JlShn0-tJviedkI6bEfg69-/view?pli=1 (Conference program)

Conference

Conference74th Annual International Communication Association Conference, ICA 2024
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityGold Coast
Period20/06/2424/06/24
Internet address

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