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Impression Management

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IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT In social psychology, impression management is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious process in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event they do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction. It is usually used synonymously with self-presentation, in which a person tries to influence the perception of their image. The notion of impression management also refers to practices in professional communication and public relations, where the term is used to describe the process of formation of a company's or organization's public image. SELF PRESENTATION: While impression management and self-presentation or giving Face are often used interchangeably, some authors have argued that they are not the same. In particular, Schlenker (1980) believed that self-presentation should be used to describe attempts to control ‘self-relevant’ images projected in “real or imagined social interactions’. This is because people may manage impressions of entities other than themselves such as businesses, cities and other individuals.

MOTIVES AND STRATEGIES: People adopt many different impression management strategies. One of them is ingratiation, where we use flattery or praise to increase our social attractiveness by highlighting our better characteristics so that others will like us. Another strategy is intimidation, which is aggressively showing anger to get others to hear and obey us. A strategy that has garnered a great amount of research attention is self-handicapping. In this case people create 'obstacles' and 'excuses’ for themselves so that they can avoid self-blame when they do poorly. People who self-handicap choose to blame their failures on obstacles such as drugs and alcohol rather than their own lack of ability. Other individuals...

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