Posted in life

Self Enhancement Bias

In Psychology, Self Enhancement is a common emotional bias. Also called self-enhancing bias. It is different from self improvement which is the act of bettering oneself.


We encounter the word bias, mostly for K-pop, to favor/lean towards to someone or something. In this case – to oneself. People engage in self-enhancement whenever they seek, interpret, or distort evidence about themselves in a way designed to maintain, create, or amplify a positive self-image.



Self-enhancement involves a preference over positive over negative self-views. It is said to be prominent in situations of threat, blows or failure to ones self-esteem.

“The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.”

Oscar Wilde

Based on Kwan et al. (2004), there are two concepts in Self enhancement. One conception originated from Festinger’s (1954) social-comparison theory and compares perceptions of the self with perceptions of others. *Social comparison and self insight.

  1. Self-enhancers are those individuals who perceive themselves more positively than they perceive others.
  2. Self-enhancers are individuals who perceive themselves more positively than they are perceived by others.

Research on Narcissism and Self Insight suggests that self enhancement is the fundamental characteristic of narcissism. In fact, narcissism has been called the “self-enhancer personality”.

Now we know the correlation of narcissism and self enhancement, with narcissism characterized by an overly inflated ego and self esteem. It is reported that scores on measures of narcissistic personality traits have been creeping steadily upward in recent decades in some cultures (Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, & Bushman, 2008). Twenge and Campbell (2009) argue that several interlocking factors are at work here, namely increasingly child-centered parenting styles, the cult of celebrity, the role of social media in promoting self-enhancement which sometimes hidden in the name of self-love.


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A self-enhancer employs a variety of strategies to enhance their self worth. For example they can downplay skills they lack and criticize others that seem to be better in comparison. They sometimes self-enhance by remembering only their strengths and not their weaknesses. Also called selectivity or selective memory.

Then there’s selective acceptance, it involves taking as fact self-flattering or ego-enhancing information with little regard for its validity. Whatever strategy they use, having a self enhancer as your friend or companion is somehow toxic.

The ultimate driving force here – they are above everyone else, that they have more positive attributes and a more positive future outlook compared to others.


  • Disclaimer: This post does not intend to replace, dictate or fully define diagnosis and treatment by a qualified physician. It is intended only for informative purposes.

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Mitch founded Chocolate Chimney year 2009 that made artisanal and decorated cakes and cookies loved by Filipinos. She was a young entrepreneur when SM SVI (supermarket) invited her to consign with them and paved way to her business putting up 5 stalls in prime SM Supermarket branches in Metro Manila. She is also passionate about Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Family and Health. Received Certification in Nutrition and Health from Wageningen University, Introduction to Psychology, Managing Emotions from Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence, and Emotional and Social Intelligence by UC Davis. Currently studying Graphic Design under California Institute of Arts as her first love - Art <3 사랑

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