How the adoption of impression management goals alters impression formation

Bryan Gibson, Elizabeth M. Poposki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Five experiments (N = 390) tested the hypothesis that adopting an impression management goal leads the impression manager to view an interaction partner as having less of the trait he or she is attempting to express. This hypothesis was confirmed for the impression management goals of appearing introverted, extraverted, smart, confident, and happy. Experiment 2 shows that adoption of the impression goal could alter judgments even when participants could not act on the goal. Experiment 3 provides evidence that adopting an impression management goal prompted a comparison mind-set and that this comparison mind-set activation mediated target judgments. Experiment 4 rules out a potential alternative explanation and provides more direct evidence that comparison of the impression manager's self-concept mediates the impression of the target. Experiment 5 eliminates a potential confound and extends the effect to another impression goal. These experiments highlight the dynamic interplay between impression management and impression formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1554
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • impression formation
  • impression management
  • interaction goals
  • self-presentation


Dive into the research topics of 'How the adoption of impression management goals alters impression formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this