Two experiments explored hypercriticism as a strategy used by people attempting to appear smart. People wanting to appear smart were more critical than either those wanting to be liked, or those in a no-goal control group. Further, more people in the "appear smart" condition selected a disliked topic in order to facilitate hypercritical evaluations. We also found that trying to appear smart led to a drop in the intelligence ratings of an interaction partner. These two studies extend previous work (Amabile & Glazebrook, 1982) by ruling out potential alternative explanations for the hypercriticism effect, by identifying other targets relevant to the hypercritical strategy, and by demonstrating the proactive nature of hypercriticism.
- Impression management
- Social interaction