Impression management (IM) scales (often called lie or social desirability scales) have long been applied as validity scales in assessment processes. Recent developments have indicated that these scales measure a substantive personality predisposition and not response bias, but the nature of the disposition is disputable. According to the ‘interpersonally oriented self-control’ approach, IM is associated with high self-control exerted mainly in public social contexts to facilitate adaptation. Supported in laboratory settings, this approach has not been tested in real-life dynamics. In the present experience sampling study, participants reported 3 times a day (10 days) about their social condition (alone/'with others’) and their level of self-control. Results revealed that IM was associated with stronger self-control when with other people than when alone. Comparable reactions to public social context were not found for self-deception enhancement, trait self-control, or agreeableness, marking this a unique aspect of IM. The findings further stress the need to reconsider the use of IM scales for validity purposes in assessment processes.
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Copyright © 2023 Uziel and Schmidt-Barad.
- impression management
- interpersonally oriented self-control
- social presence