Which self-presentation style is more effective? A comparison of instructors' self-enhancing and self-effacing styles across the culture

Eun Joo Kim, Charles Berger, Joohan Kim, Min Sun Kim

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have investigated how people perceive others' self-presentation styles (such as enhancement and effacement) in forming first impressions and how culture influences the process. Most of those studies have, however, investigated self-presentation styles in the context of informal and intimate interpersonal relations. Few studies have examined the perceptions of self-presentation styles in formal communication contexts such as instruction in classrooms. This study examines how college students from different cultures perceive professors' self-presentation styles in terms of competence and likability with the samples from the Mainland USA, Hawaii, and South Korea. The results from the latent mean analyses showed that professors with self-enhancement were perceived as more competent but less favorable in the Mainland USA and Hawaii, but not in South Korea - self-promoter's paradox was not found, while trade-offs between competence perception and likability seemed to exist. Structural equation models showed that, in explaining the variances of self-presentation perceptions, self-construals were significant variables in the Mainland USA and Hawaii, but not in South Korea. Academic motivations, on the contrary, appeared as significant variables in South Korea only. The implications of the findings are discussed in terms of cultural differences through self-construals in perceiving others' self-presentation styles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-524
Number of pages15
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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