What did You Say? : Self Verification Theory


Have you every asked a friend of yours if "your already fat" and he says, "Yes, you've gotten fat.". And so, what you did is asked another person until finally someone will say to you, "Yes, your not fat.". There is a theory that tries to explain this psychological phenomenon. 

Self verification theory assumes that individuals construct an identity of themselves--their perception of their roles, reputation, qualities, behaviors, and values, for example. This identity affords individuals with a sense of certainty and composure as well as guides their choices and actions. Accordingly, individuals strive to maintain these identities, attempt to avert sources of feedback that challenge these perceptions of themselves. Instead, they seek feedback that aligns with these identities.

"People need to seek confirmation of their self-concept. This is true even if the self-view is negative and is in conflict with the desire to maintain a positive self-view. In this conflict, the self-verification wins.
We even will prefer to live with people who maintain our self-concept, which may explain why some people live with a partner who is abusive and unpleasant"

According to Psychologist, "Individuals sometimes receive feedback from a romantic partner that is more positive than is their own perception of themselves. Individuals might feel they are uncreative, but their partner might feel they are very creative. Surprisingly, individuals also feel an urge to withdraw from these partners; they instead gravitate towards anyone who offers feedback that confirms their own perception of themselves--as substantiated in many studies." (e.g., Burke & Stets, 1999; De La Ronde & Swann, 1998; Murray, Holmes, Dolderman, & Griffin, 2000; Ritts & Stein, 1995; Schafer, Wickrama, & Keith, 1996; Swann, De La Ronde, & Hixon, 1994).

So , the next time you might wanna ask someone, something about yourself try considering "Self-verification Theory before you finally get tired of someone to re-affirm your beliefs.

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