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date: 17 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter broadly addresses the following question: How do people gain knowledge about the self, and is this knowledge accurate and unbiased? To answer this question, we discuss pathways to self-knowledge that involve intrapsychic processes related to introspection and self-perception and interpersonal processes that involve the self in its interaction with the social world. We further expose some of the biases and underlying motives that shape people’s search for self-knowledge via these pathways. Specifically, we consider how the biased processing of self-relevant information as well as the varied ways in which people engineer their social world can influence how people perceive and present themselves, and how they are perceived by others. Over time, the reciprocal forces inherent in the search for self-knowledge conspire to give rise to a subjective sense of self that may be experienced as true and unadulterated, notwithstanding possible evidence to the contrary.

Keywords: self-knowledge, self-assessment, self-verification, self-enhancement, introspection, self-perception, biased information processing, interpersonal relationships

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