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Abstract

People engage in self-promotional behavior because they want others to hold favorable images of them. Self-promotion, however, entails a tradeoff between conveying one’s positive attributes and being seen as bragging. We propose that people get this tradeoff wrong because they erroneously project their own feelings onto their interaction partners. As a consequence, people overestimate the extent to which recipients of their self-promotion will feel proud of and happy for them, and underestimate the extent to which recipients will feel annoyed (Experiment 1 and 2). Because people tend to self-promote excessively when trying to make a favorable impression on others, such efforts often backfire, causing targets of the self-promotion to view the self-promoter as less likeable and as a braggart (Experiment 3).

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... For example, individuals rely on the credibility of the source when they read news from online platforms (Winter & Krämer, 2014), and positive source perceptions are positively related with re-tweet intentions (Boehmer & Tandoc, 2015). These points provide a significant challenge to athletes who use social media to positively position their brands, as this form of self-promotion can lead to negative evaluations of the message creator (Godfrey, Jones, & Lord, 1986) because it could be perceived as 'bragging' (Scopelliti, Loewenstein, & Vosgerau, 2015). Thus, athletes need to understand factors that influence how such content is perceived. ...
... Although this effect was only significant for intentions to Like the posts between the team group and the athlete group, the mean scores of both indirect sources were higher than the direct source across both intentions to Like and Retweet. These results may be explained through previous studies that found self-promotional comments can be viewed as bragging and may lead to the presence of negative attitudes (Godfrey et al., 1986;Sezer et al., 2018) and reduce intention to Like and Retweet posts (Boehmer & Tandoc, 2015;Scopelliti et al., 2015;Sekhon, Bickart, Trudel, & Fournier, 2015). Thus, external sources may not be associated with negative perceptions of bragging and thus more influential in driving social media engagement. ...
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Research Question: The current study examined the role of signalling and source credibility on athlete-related social media content. We examined the effect of three different posting sources on sport consumer perceptions of athlete brand image and social media engagement with athlete-related content. Research Methods: Data were collected via an online experiment which presented information about an athlete to three groups. Group one received the content direct from the athlete, whereas group two and three saw the same content presented by indirect sources (the athlete’s team and a news media outlet). In total, 315 consumers participated in the experiment. ANCOVA and MANCOVA tests were used to test the hypotheses. Results and Findings: In general, sport consumers possessed more favourable attitudes towards athlete content on social media when it was presented by an indirect source. This content was perceived as more credible and less biased than when the same information was sent from the athlete directly. Results demonstrated some evidence consumers’ intentions to engage with athlete-related social media content were greater when this content was posted by an indirect source, rather than directly by the athlete. Implications: This research contributes to knowledge guiding athlete brand development via social media. Athletes need to be aware that not only the type of content posted about them influences consumer perceptions about their brands, but so too does the source of the content. To build their brands effectively and to elicit engagement, athletes should collaborate with credible and trustworthy third-party organisations when communicating via social media.
Article
Does everyone in the universe really need to know where your kid is headed for college this fall? Even if your child is marching through the front door of a highly selective university, there isn't much to be gained by announcing this news publicly. In fact, there's a lot to be lost. I say this as a daughter who remembers cringing, literally, when my dad—upon meeting old friends, new acquaintances, or just innocent bystanders at the local hardware store—would somehow work into the conversation an update on one or another of his children's accomplishments. In the same column of “nobody needs to know who hasn't asked,” I'd put your child's SAT scores, their awards, the personal record you set in your last marathon, and anything else that, by making you or your progeny look good, makes the person forced to listen to you feel bad. Since we all know what it's like to be on the receiving end of bragging, it's always been somewhat of a mystery to me why bragging persists.
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