Think twice before you brag about your accomplishments — and if you do, you better have the goods to back it up, a new study suggests.

The research, which was published recently in the journal Self and Identity, found that people respond better to modest individuals than to braggarts. When people did boast, the study found that their self-promotions were received better by others if they were supported by evidence.

“If you want to present yourself in a positive way and talk about your accolades, then it’s really helpful to have external information or some sort of objective corroboration of how good you are at something,” says study co-author Erin O’Mara, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Dayton. And according to the findings of the study, people will like you even more “if you undersell yourself a little bit and describe yourself in a modest way.”

O’Mara and her colleagues modeled their study after one conducted in 1982 by psychologists Mark Leary and Barry Schlenker. That paper found that people respond better to boasting when there’s evidence to back up the claims, and better still when someone “modestly underestimated a clearly superior prior performance.”

But the original research was published well before the rise of social media and the culture of boasting and bragging it often promotes. “People are showing higher levels of self-esteem and narcissism than their parents’ generation before,” O’Mara says. “We thought perhaps those shifts might influence the way people react.”

They designed a new study to find out, running two similar but separate experiments. In both, study participants were presented with either a self-promotional statement (“I am a better person to be friends with than others” or “I am smarter than other students”) or a self-equalizing statement (“I am as good a person to be friends with as others” or “I am as smart as other students”). Next, some were given information that either corroborated or refuted that information — like another person’s testimony, or school records — while others were given no secondary information at all.

Just as in the original work, the researchers found that people responded better to brags when they were accurate, rather than false or ambiguous. O’Mara says talking about your own accomplishments, rather than comparing your performance to others’, may also boost your perception by others.

Overall, though, study …read more

Source:: Time – Health

      

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