In a series of studies the Self Salience Model of other-to-self effects is tested. This model posits that self-construal salience is an important determinant of whether other-to-self effects follow the principles of self-enhancement, imitation, or complementarity. Participants imagined interactions (Studies 1 and 2) or were confronted (Studies 3 to 5) with dominant, submissive, agreeable, or quarrelsome person targets. Findings support the prediction that subsequent self-evaluations (Studies 1 to 3) and behaviors (Studies 4 and 5) follow the principles of self-enhancement when the personal self is activated (contrast away from undesirable targets, assimilation toward desirable targets); the principles of complementarity when the relational self is activated (contrast on the dominant-submissive dimension, assimilation on the agreeable-quarrelsome dimension); and the principles of imitation when the collective self is activated (assimilation regardless of desirability or dimension).
- Social comparison