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A brush with greatness: Audience reactions to basking in reflected glory

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Lines, Diane
Abstract The primary goal of this study was to examine whether basking in reflected glory (BIRGing) (i.e., publicly advertising associations with successful or famous persons) is an effective self-presentation strategy. It was predicted that a BIRGing target would be rated more positively by observers than a non-BIRGing target, and that BIRGing that is prompted (vs. unprompted) would lead to the most favourable evaluations. It was also hypothesized that a BIRGing target would be rated less positively after disclosing a self-esteem threat. A 2 (self-esteem threat vs. no self-esteem threat) X 3 (basking prompted vs. basking unprompted vs. no basking) ANOVA did not support the primary hypothesis: Participants evaluated the non-basking target more favourably than the basking target. The self-esteem threat prediction was supported. Results suggest that basking in reflected glory is not the most effective strategy to use when one is attempting to manage the impressions of others.
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