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Balanced authenticity predicts optimal well-being: Theoretical conceptualization and empirical development of the authenticity in relationships scale

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This paper describes the theoretical development and validation of the authenticity in relationships scale (AIRS), and tests whether balanced authenticity predicts optimal well-being and simultaneous gains of agency and communion. Six independent adult samples (N = 1115; M age = 31.75; female = 642) completed the AIRS and measures used to establish construct validity, psychological well-being (PWB), and subjective well-being (SWB). Exploratory and multigroup confirmatory factor analysis supported a tripartite conception of authenticity (ego-centric authenticity, other-distorted authenticity, and balanced authenticity), and this was shown to be invariant across samples and gender groups. With good reliability and test–retest stability, subscale scores composed of factor-unique items were found to correlate with criterion-related constructs in the directions predicted. Specifically, ego-centric authenticity was related to unmitigated agency and low relationship satisfaction. Other-distorted authenticity was related to unmitigated communion and low autonomy. Balanced authenticity was shown to predict both agency and communion, and was positively correlated with SWB, even when social desirability was controlled for. These findings contribute to our understanding of the relational essence of authenticity and its subsequent association with well-being.
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Balanced authenticity predicts optimal well-being: Theoretical
conceptualization and empirical development of the authenticity in
relationships scale
Yi Nan Wang
School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
abstractarticle info
Article history:
Received 14 November 2015
Received in revised form 30 January 2016
Accepted 1 February 2016
Available online xxxx
This paper describes the theoretical development and validation of the authenticity in relationships scale (AIRS),
and tests whether balanced authenticity predictsoptimal well-beingand simultaneous gains of agency andcom-
munion. Sixindependent adult samples (N= 1115; Mage = 31.75; female= 642) completed the AIRS and mea-
sures used to establish construct validity, psychological well-being (PWB), and subjective well-being (SWB).
Exploratory and multigroup conrmatory factor analysis supported a tripartite conception of authenticity
(ego-centric authenticity, other-distorted authenticity, and balanced authenticity), and this was shown to be in-
variant across samples and gender groups. With good reliability and testretest stability, subscale scores com-
posed of factor-unique items were found to correlate with criterion-related constructs in the directions
predicted. Specically, ego-centric authenticity was related to unmitigated agency and low relationshipsatisfac-
tion. Other-distorted authenticity was related to unmitigated communion and low autonomy. Balanced authen-
ticity was shown to predict both agency and communion, and was positively correlated with SWB, even when
social desirability was controlled for. These ndings contribute to our understanding of the relational essence
of authenticity and its subsequent association with well-being.
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
Balanced authenticity
Relationship
Optimal well-being
Dialecticism
1. Introduction
The concept of authenticityhas its roots in ancient Greek philoso-
phy, as illustrated by well-known phrases such as To thine own
self be true(Harter, 2002). In recent years, individual differences in au-
thenticity have begun to be viewed as essential to understanding the
human condition from a range of psychological perspectives, including
positive (Horney, 1950; Kernis, 2003), developmental (Harter, Marold,
Whitesell, & Cobbs, 1996), interpersonal (Lopez & Rice, 2006; Wang,
2014), and clinical (Joseph & Wood, 2010) psychology.
Abroaddenition of authenticity is that it is a way of being that re-
ects one's true self through the accurate portrayal of one's thoughts,
feelings, and emotions (Kernis & Goldman, 2006; White, 2011). To
date, 3 measures examining dispositional authenticity (Goldman &
Kernis, 2002; Lopez & Rice, 2006; Wood, Linley, Maltby, Baliousis, &
Joseph, 2008) all consider authenticity as a reection of the true self
that must overcome the inuence of others. However, humans are fun-
damentally social beings, and the authentic living is bound to be affect-
ed by the social environment (Schmid, 2005b). In another word, the
true self coexists with the relational self (Brewer, 1991; Chen,
Boucher, & Tapias, 2006; Sedikides & Brewer, 2001). The most challenge
is not to realize one's inner thoughts through eliminating others' inu-
ences, but rather how to obtain one's goal in the enviromental restric-
tions and then to achieve harmonious unity between true self and
relational self. Given this, we proposed theconceptualization of authen-
ticity in relationships to show only the balanced authenticity would lead
to high global well-being: both personal and relational satisfaction.
2. Balancing the true self with external inuences
Throughout people's daily lives there is an ongoing conict between
one's inner through and the dictates of the environment. When
confronted with external forces, individuals have two spontaneous
optionsconceal the truth (inauthenticity) or speak out (authenticity).
Inauthentic actions frequently occur when people are concerned about
social disapproval (Leary, 2003), which has been shown to increase the
risk for low well-being (Bettencourt & Sheldon, 2001; Neff & Harter,
2002; Sheldon, Ryan, Rawsthorne, & Ilardi, 1997). At the other extreme,
when the authenticity is characterized by inadequate consideration for
others' perspectives (known as egocentric authenticity) (Davis &
Oathout, 1987; Schmid, 2005a), it may lead to inharmonious interper-
sonal relationships and lower levels of well-being (Chen, Lee-Chai, &
Bargh, 2001; Helgeson, 1994; Kwan, Bond, & Singelis, 1997; Wang,
2015b).
Personality and Individual Differences 94 (2016) 316323
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E-mail address: yynnwang@gmail.com.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.02.001
0191-8869/© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Personality and Individual Differences
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The deciencies associated with both egocentric authenticity and in-
authenticity may be captured via the constructs of unmitigated agency
and unmitigated communion, respectively. Both agency and communion
are required for optimal well-being (high subjective well-being (SWB)
and psychological well-being (PWB) (Bakan, 1966; Keyes, Shmotkin, &
Ryff, 2002). Any focus on the self resulting in the exclusion of others (un-
mitigated agency), or any focus on others resulting in the exclusion of the
self (unmitigated communion), will incur a wide range of health hazards
(Bem, 1974; Helgeson, 1994; Helgeson & Fritz, 1998, 1999).
With this in mind, several paradigms have attempted to explain how
best to deal with the challenge of striking a healthy balance between
agency and communion. Subsequent theories on the topic include opti-
mal distinctiveness theory (Brewer, 1991), functional exibility theory
(Paulhus & Martin, 1988), and Eastern dialectical thinking (Cheung
et al., 2003; Peng & Nisbett, 1999). Dialecticism, rooted in Eastern cul-
ture, advocates the mutual consideration of opposites and contradic-
tions in order to gain optimal results (Cheung et al., 2003; Nisbett,
Peng, Choi, & Norenzayan, 2001). In this perspective, authenticity is a
process term that encompasses unity and plurality, which ultimately
contributes to the fully functioning person(Schmid, 2001). When
confronted with a conictbetween agency and communion, highly dia-
lectical individuals will neither stand by their own ideas to maximize
self-interests, nor easily abandon their own opinions to meet the expec-
tations of others. Instead, they will maintain a balance between internal
and external pressure and nd a solution that will be broadly accepted
(Yang & Chiu, 1997). It is not a coincidence that theperson-centered ap-
proach argues that there is no authenticity, no presence in relationship
without mutuality(Rogers, 1962).
Although authenticity requires the ability to both understand one-
self and to be inuenced by others (Schmid, 2001), little previous re-
search has empirically investigated whether and how maintaining
balanced authenticity will satisfy both SWB and PWB. In order to ll
this gap, we propose a novel conceptualization of balanced authenticity
that refers to giving consideration to the interests of both oneself and
others. Furthermore, this study will examine whether balanced authen-
ticity predicts optimal well-being via an increase in both agency and
communion in order to enhance our understanding of authenticity
and how this concept contributes to overall well-being.
3. Conceptualization of balanced authenticity
We hypothesized that only balanced authenticity will lead to high
global well-being, and then developed a theoretical schema for thepro-
posed model (see Fig. 1). Inspired by Brewer's (1991) optimal distinc-
tiveness model, authenticity is conceptualized as increasing with self-
oriented behaviors and decreasing with other-oriented behaviors.
Ego-centric behaviors are characterized by the unobstructed operation
of one's uncontrived inclinations, whereas other-oriented behaviors
are characterized by striving for the approval of others while concealing
one's inner tendencies. The two orientations work in opposing direc-
tions as motivators of individual behavior, and the result of this conict
predicts individual well-being. It is proposed that optimal well-being
will be achieved through balanced authenticity, so that the reconcilia-
tion of one's own inclinations and the inclinations of others in order to
achieve one's aim will occur naturally within the constraints of any
given situation. Individuals high in balanced authenticity will choose
the middle ground in order to maximize this outcome, and will thereby
ultimately gain the advantages of both agency and communion.
Any deviations from balanced authenticity in either direction may
reduce individual well-being. When people stubbornly pursue personal
autonomy without empathy with others, thus demonstrating ego-
centric authenticity, their well-being will typically decline as a result
of poorerinterpersonal relationships. Conversely, those who completely
inhibit their inner desire to meet the expectations of others, thus dem-
onstrating other-distorted authenticity, will be more likely to report di-
minished well-being due to lower levels of autonomy.
In sum, we proposed a tripartite conception of authenticity that rep-
resents the three distinct dimensions of authenticity. Every person
might possess the three dimensions of authenticity to some extent.
While a typical individual with high balanced authenticity, but low
ego-centric and other-distorted authenticities, would neither deny
their own natural inclinations in return for the approval of others
(unmitigated communion), nor rigidly adhere to uncontrived inclina-
tions at the expense of others (unmitigated agency). Hence, he or she
will prot from the advantages of both agency and communion via
exercising balanced authenticity.
4. Overview of the present research
Two studies across 6 samples were conducted in order to test the
theoretical construct of balanced authenticity through a comparison
with ego-centric authenticity and other-distorted authenticity. Study 1
involved the development of the authenticity in relationships scale
(AIRS) through the measurementof a tripartite conception of authentic-
ity in order to quantify balanced authenticity. An initial examination of
the scale's factor structure was also performed. Study 2 conrmed the
factor structure, investigated the measure's psychometric properties,
and tested whether balanced authenticity predicted global well-being
and a simultaneous gain in agency and communion.
5. Study 1
The aim of Study 1 was the initial development of the AIRS through
standard psychometric procedures (Clark & Watson, 1995), and to mea-
sure the tripartite conception of Authenticity in the Relationshipsas de-
scribed inthe introduction. We aimed to develop a short scale to reduce
the cognitive load on respondents and emphasize brevity and clarity of
wording and instructions.
5.1. Method
5.1.1. Development of item pool
We developed a pool of 17 items that addressed experiences of ego-
centric authenticity, other-distorted authenticity, and balanced authen-
ticity. Each item was expressed as a statement, with which participants
rated their level of agreement on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = does not de-
scribe me at all,5=describes me very well).
5.1.2. Sample and procedure
We recruited 191 Chinese participants from a professional website
that offers nancial reward for completing online tasks. Participants
(male =95,Mage = 33.26, SD = 6.04) each received RMB 10 for par-
ticipation. Participants varied considerably in profession (for example,
10.1% were college students and, 26.4% were technical personnel),
Fig. 1. The balanced authenticity leading to optimal well-being model.
317Y.N. Wang / Personality and Individual Differences 94 (2016) 316323
socioeconomic status, and education (ranging from high school degree
to master's degree).
5.1.3. Measures
All instruments were administered in Chinese. Following standard
guidelines (Beaton, Bombardier, Guillemin, & Ferraz, 2000), measures
originally written in English that were not available in Chinese were
translated by a native Chinese speakerwhose second language was En-
glish. For each measure, all items were rated on a 5-point Likert scale,
ranging from 1 (disagree)to5(strongly agree).
5.1.3.1. Authenticity in relationships item pool. All participants completed
the full item pool of 17 items.
5.1.3.2. General authenticity. The authenticity scale developed by Wood
et al. (2008; e.g., I live in accordance with my values and beliefs)
was to assess participants' general authenticity. Cronbach's alphas for
authentic living, self-alienation and accepting external inuence were
.68, .73, and .77, respectively.
5.1.3.3. Satisfaction with life. Life satisfaction was assessed by asking
participants to estimate the extent to which they agreed with each of
the 5 items on the Satisfaction with Life Scale (e.g., In most ways my
life is close to my ideal)(Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Grifn, 1985).
Cronbach's alpha for the current SWB survey was .88.
5.1.3.4. Self-esteem. The self-esteem was assessed with Rosenberg Self-
Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). The scale contains ten items to assess
one's global self-worth (e.g., On the whole, I am satised with myself).
Cronbach's alpha was .78.
5.2. Results
5.2.1. Factor analysis of the initial item pool
We conducted principal axis exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using
the whole pool of 17 items with initial communalities generated using
squared multiple correlations. Bartlett's test suggested that the data
were suitable for an EFA (χ
2
(136) = 1100.74, pb.001), and the
KaiserMeyerOlkin (.82) measure indicated that the sample size was
adequate for this specic analysis. The rst 3 factors had eigenvalues
of 4.63, 2.70, and 1.63, and accounted for 27.27%, 15.86%, and 9.57% of
the variance, respectively.
A scree plotsuggested that there were 3 meaningful factors. Further-
more, based on parallel analysisand the MAP method (Velicer, Eaton, &
Fava, 2000), we extracted an optimal 3-factor structure that underwent
an oblique rotation (Fabrigar, Wegener, MacCallum, & Strahan, 1999).
Table 1 shows the initial and extracted communalities and all factor
loadings, although the little degree of difference between these commu-
nalities lends support to the notion that a sufcient number of factors
were extracted. Thus, the factor analysis supported thestructure we ex-
pected to nd and suggested that the items we had developed mapped
the conception as predicted.
The authenticity in relationships scale (AIRS) was developed from
the results of the EFA, which indicated that factor loadings dropped off
markedly after the third or fourth item for each subscale. As a result,
we formed three subscales, which are called as ego-centric authenticity
subscale, other-distorted authenticity subscale, and balanced authentic-
ity subscale, that were each comprised of 3 items.
5.2.2. Balanced authenticity, general authenticity, and subjective well-
being
Table 2 shows the preliminary correlations found between the bal-
anced authenticity scale and SWB. Balanced authenticity was positively
correlated with SWB, while other-distorted authenticity was negatively
correlated with SWB. Although ego-centric authenticity was positively
correlated with Wood et al.s(2008)Authentic Living Subscale, this con-
cept was not correlated with SWB.
5.3. Discussion
In Study 1, the AIRS was developed, and initial evidence supported
the existence of the hypothesized factor structure of ego-centric au-
thenticity, other-distorted authenticity, and balanced authenticity.
Given that balanced authenticity was expected to be associated with
SWB, this nding provides preliminary evidence for the validity of the
scale.
6. Study 2
6.1. Introduction
Study 2 aimed to (a) conrm the factor structure of the AIRS using
new samples, (b) test whether the factor structure remained invariant
across different sample and gender groups; (c) investigate thetemporal
stability of the subscales through assessment of testretest reliability;
Table 1
Communalities and factor loadings from the exploratory factor analysis (Study 1).
Item Factor h
2
123
7. I always hide my true thoughts for fear of others' disapproval.
a
.82 .01 .29 .68
11. I usually try to cater to others.
a
.81 .10 .23 .66
10. I do not dare to tell others the truth due to caring for their feelings.
a
.79 .08 .30 .63
12. I am used to compromise to fulll others' expectations. .78 .20 .25 .63
9. Others' opinions always have a big impact on me. .68 .40 .16 .46
8. Before speaking, I always think over other's possible reaction. .55 .37 .41 .51
15. I am fully aware of when to insist on myself and when to compromise.
a
.03 .78 .08 .60
16. I always nd the ways to reconcile my need and other's requirements.
a
.18 .67 .22 .50
14. I would neither give up the real me nor make others hard to accept.
a
.16 .59 .07 .36
17. I select to insist on or abandon my opinions according to the actual situation. .18 .51 .04 .32
5. I try to express my true idea in the way that others can accept. .04 .34 .39 .24
2. I usually tell the truth without concerning how others will think of me.
a
.27 .04 .84 .71
1. I just speak my mind without taking care of others' feelings.
a
.23 .20 .82 .68
3. I always offend people by speaking frankly.
a
.25 .34 .69 .55
6. As long as I disagree, I would deny others' request directly. .34 .01 .64 .44
4. I always insist what I believe, no matter what others think. .23 .26 .62 .49
17. No matter when, I would like to insist on being myself. .50 .50 .27 .50
Note. N = 191. Principal axis exploratory factor analysis with oblique rotation; loadings over .35 in bold type.
Factor 1 represents other-distorted authenticity, Factor 2 represents balanced authenticity, and Factor 3 represents ego-centric authenticity.
a
Item included in nal 9-item scale.
318 Y.N. Wang / Personality and Individual Differences 94 (2016) 316323
(d) assess discriminant validity by calculating correlations with the Big
Five factors, social desirability, and several measures used to establish
construct validity, and (e) examine whether only the subscale of bal-
anced authenticity was strongly related to aspects of both psychological
well-being (PWB) and SWB. As far as the discriminate validity of AIRS is
concerned, we predict that other-distorted authenticity will correlate
with low autonomy and relationship-contingent self-esteem, while
ego-centric authenticity will correlate with negative relationship satis-
faction and low empathy. By contrast, balanced authenticity will corre-
late with global well-being, high self-esteem and empathy.
6.2. Method
6.2.1. Participants and procedure
Participants of Study 2 was 924 Chinese adult volunteers (Mage =
30.23, SD = 6.28; Range =1964; Men = 378) who were recruited on-
line via a Chinese advertising portal of psychological research (http://
www.sojump.com/). Participants varied considerably in profession
(for example, 15% were college students, 23% were technical personnel,
and13% were managerial personnel), socioeconomic status, education
(5% had only a high school while 10% had a master's degree), and pro-
fessional seniority (24% were junior and 35% were senior).
Sample 1 was comprised of 198 people (Mage = 30.54, SD = 6.48;
Men = 79). The participants completed the 9-item AIRS, measures
of PWB (autonomy, environmental mastery, positive relations with
others, and self-acceptance) (Ryff, 1989) and need satisfaction
(Sheldon, Elliot, Kim, & Kasser, 2001), and Relationship Contingent
Self-esteem Scale (Knee, Canevello, Bush, & Cook, 2008).
Sample 2 was comprised of 103 people (Mage = 30.07, SD =5.80;
Men = 37). The participants completed the 9-item AIRS and measures
of Big Five (Costa & McCrae, 1995).
Sample 3 was comprised of 216 people (Mage = 30.65, SD =6.87;
Men = 102). Participants completed the 9-item AIRS and measures
of satisfaction with life (Diener et al., 1985), and socially desirable
responding (Paulhus, Bruce, & Trapnell, 1995). Of these initial partici-
pants, 85 (Men = 40) were willing to complete a second questionnaire
ve weeks later and they completed 9-item AIRS (to establish test
retest reliability) and dispositional Empathy Scale (Davis, 1983).
Sample 4 was comprised of 200 people (Mage = 29.96, SD = 6.14;
Men = 79). The participants completed the 9-item AIRS and measures
of self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1965), SWB (Diener et al., 1985; Watson,
Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), fear of negative evaluation (Leary, 1983), and
Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (Paulhus, 1984). Of these
initial participants, 91 (Men = 29) were willing to complete a second
questionnaire in a couple of weeks and they completed 9-item AIRS
(to establish testretest reliability) and dispositional Empathy Scale
(Davis, 1983).
Sample 5 was comprised of 207 people (Mage = 29.82, SD =5.81;
Men = 81) The participants completed the9-item AIRS and measures of
SWB(Diener et al., 1985; Watson et al., 1988), Extended Version of the
Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence, Helmreich, & Holahan,
1979), the Unmitigated Communion Scale (Helgeson & Fritz, 1998),
SWLS (Diener et al., 1985), PANAS (Watson et al., 1988), and Wood
et al.'s (2008) Authenticity Scale.
6.2.2. Measures
All instruments were administered in Chinese. For each scale, all
items were rated on a 5-point scale: 1 (disagree)to5(strongly agree).
6.2.2.1. Socially desirable responding. The full 40-item Balanced Inventory
of Desirable Responding (Paulhus, 1984) including impression manage-
ment [IM] subscale and self-deceptive enhancement[SDE] subscale was
used to measure socially desirable responding. In the current study,
Cronbach's alphas have been shown to range from .84 to .86 for both
subscales.
6.2.2.2. Big Five. The Big Five personality traits of extraversion, neuroti-
cism, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness were assessed
with the Big Five Inventory (John & Srivastava, 1999). The Big Five
was used to assess whether or not the AIRS can be reducible to a linear
combination of the general personality dispositions of Big Five. In the
current study, Cronbach's alphas ranged from .71 to .87.
6.2.2.3. Scales of PWB. We selected 4 subscales (autonomy, environmen-
tal mastery, positive relations with others, and self-acceptance) that
were related to current topic from Ryff's (1989) scales of PWB. In the
current study, Cronbach's alphas for the seven-item subscales ranged
from .76 to .80.
6.2.2.4. Self-esteem. Rosenberg's (1965) 10-item self-esteem scale
assessed global self-esteem. In the current study, Cronbach's alpha
was .87.
6.2.2.5. Satisfaction with life. In the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener
et al., 1985), participants rate their agreement with ve statements re-
garding how satised they are with their life. In the current study,
Cronbach's alpha was .86.
6.2.2.6. Affect. The frequency of positive and negative affect was mea-
sured with the 20-item Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson
et al., 1988). In the current study, Cronbach's alphas for the positive af-
fect and negative affect were.91, and .90, respectively.
6.2.2.7. Dispositional empathy. The disposition toward empathy was
measured with the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1983). The
measure has 4 subscales that are the fantasy, personal distress, empath-
ic concern and perspective-taking subscales each made up of 7 different
items. In the current study, Cronbach's alphas for the four subscales
ranged from .71 to .79.
6.2.2.8. Fear of negative evaluation. Seven positively keyed items were se-
lected from the brief version of fear of negative evaluation scale (Leary,
1983) to measure participants' levels of evaluative concern. The current
Cronbach's alpha was .94.
6.2.2.9. Relationship contingent self-esteem. The relationship-contingent
self-esteem scale (Knee et al., 2008) included 11 items wasused to mea-
sure how much an evaluation of self was based on one's relationship
with others in general. In the current study, Cronbach's alpha was .78.
Table 2
Preliminary correlations between the authenticity in relationships scale (AIRS) and subjective well-being (SWB) (Study 1).
Subscale Self-esteem SWLS Authentic living Accepting external inuence Self-alienation
Ego-centric authenticity .01 .08 .37⁎⁎⁎ .15.01
Other-distorted authenticity .39⁎⁎⁎ .24⁎⁎ .39⁎⁎⁎ .60⁎⁎⁎ .45⁎⁎⁎
Balanced authenticity .47⁎⁎⁎ .39⁎⁎⁎ .40⁎⁎⁎ .16.47⁎⁎⁎
Note. SWLS = Satisfaction with Life Scale.
pb.05.
⁎⁎ pb.01.
⁎⁎⁎ pb.001.
319Y.N. Wang / Personality and Individual Differences 94 (2016) 316323
6.2.2.10. Agency and communion. The participants' personality traits of
agency and communion were measured by the agency and communion
subscales of extended version of the personal attributes questionnaire
(Spence et al., 1979). Each subscale consists of eight items. In the current
study, Cronbach's alphas for agency and communion subscales were .88
and .82, respectively.
6.2.2.11. Unmitigated agency and unmitigated communion. The unmiti-
gated agency was measured by the unmitigated agency subscale of ex-
tended version of the personal attributes questionnaire (Spence et al.,
1979). Unmitigated communion was assessed by the Unmitigated Com-
munion Scale (Helgeson & Fritz, 1998). The current Cronbach's alphas
for unmitigated agency and unmitigated communion were .81 and
.80, respectively.
6.3. Results
6.3.1. Descriptive statistics
Table 3 shows the descriptive statistics and subscale intercorrela-
tions for all samples. Of note are the relatively weak intercorrelations
between the three subscales, as these support their discriminant valid-
ity. Internal consistency coefcients ranged from .59 to .83.
6.3.2. Multigroup conrmatory factor analysis
Multigroup covariance structural equation modeling was performed
with AMOS software (Byrne, 2004), using the maximum likelihood
model of estimation. Data pertaining to the individual t of samples 1,
2, 3, 4, and 5 following separate conrmatory factor analyses are pre-
sented in Table 4.Hu and Bentler (1999) suggested that good model
t is individually indicated with approximate values of RMR .08,
CFI .95, and RMSEA .08. On the basis of these values, the 3-factor
model had a good t for all of the individual samples. We thencombined
the samples and split them according to gender (546 women and 378
men). As shown in Table 4, the 3-factor model had a good t for both
genders.
6.3.3. Testretest reliability
Table 5 highlights the 2-week and 5-week testretest reliability. For
each of the subscales, responses at time 1 were correlated with re-
sponses at time 2, with correlation coefcients ranging between .60
and .79. Additionally, each of the subscales showed group-level stability
at both time intervals, with only small and non-signicant mean level
differences between the two time points.
6.3.4. Discriminant validity from the Big Five
None of Big Five variables signicantly predicted the variance in ego-
centric authenticity. The strongest unique Big Five predictor for other-
distorted authenticity was neuroticism (β= .36), whereas the strongest
unique Big Five predictor of balanced authenticity was agreeableness
(β= .34). Despite these differences, the Big Five accounted for only a
small, though signicant, proportion of the variance in other-distorted
authenticity and balanced authenticity (18%38%). This nding shows
that the AIRS is not reducible to a linear combination of the Big Five.
6.3.5. Discriminant validity from social desirability
As shown in Table 6, egocentric authenticity demonstrated very
weak and non-signicant correlations with impression management
(IM) and self-deceptive enhancement (SDE; r= .07 to .14). Other-
distorted authenticity was positively correlated with IM, but negatively
correlated with SDE. In contrast, balanced authenticity was positively
correlated with SDE, but negatively correlated with IM. This ndingsug-
gests that individuals characterized by balanced authenticity have a
positive self-image and will be unlikely to try to please others just to
elicit a positive reaction.
6.3.6. Discriminant validity from relationship-contingent self-esteem, fear
of negative evaluation, and dispositional empathy
As predicted, other-distorted authenticity was positively correlated
with both relationship-contingent self-esteem (r= .36, pb.001) and
fear of negative evaluation (r= .55, pb.001), while egocentric authen-
ticity and balanced authenticity were negatively correlated with
these factors. As Table 7 shows, egocentric authenticity was negatively
correlated with the positive dimension of empathy (range of absolute
r=.29 to .55), while other-distorted authenticity was positively
Table 3
Descriptive statistics and subscale of airs intercorrelations (Study 2).
Subscale αCentral
tendency
Intercorrelations
MSD23
Sample 1 (n= 198)
1 Ego-centric authenticity .83 7.29 2.49 .33⁎⁎⁎ .15
2 Other-distorted authenticity .85 9.69 2.60 .12
3 Balanced authenticity .59 12.19 1.37 ––
Sample 2 (n= 103)
1 Ego-centric authenticity .61 7.27 2.32 .40⁎⁎⁎ .17
2 Other-distorted authenticity .79 9.20 2.83 .20
3 Balanced authenticity .65 11.41 1.93 ––
Sample 3 (n= 216)
1 Ego-centric authenticity .75 7.40 2.40 .19⁎⁎ .46⁎⁎⁎
2 Other-distorted authenticity .72 8.99 2.54 .07
3 Balanced authenticity .80 11.80 1.78 ––
Sample 4 (n= 200)
1 Ego-centric authenticity .84 7.26 2.55 .35⁎⁎⁎ .26⁎⁎⁎
2 Other-distorted authenticity .81 9.19 2.52 .04
3 Balanced authenticity .68 11.91 1.64 ––
Sample 5 (n= 207)
1 Ego-centric authenticity .83 7.46 2.57 .35⁎⁎⁎ .22⁎⁎
2 Other-distorted authenticity .87 8.84 2.68 .03
3 Balanced authenticity .76 11.87 1.85 ––
pb.05.
⁎⁎ pb.01.
⁎⁎⁎ pb.001.
Table 4
Results from the multigroup conrmatory factor analysis for AIRS (Study 2).
Group n χ
2
(24) RMR CFI RMSEA (90% CI)
Between sample comparisons
1. Sample 1 198 39.29.04 .97 .06 (.02, .09)
2. Sample 2 103 35.38 .07 .95 .07 (.00, .11)
3. Sample 3 216 55.22⁎⁎⁎ .05 .95 .08 (.05, .11)
4. Sample 4 200 37.29.04 .98 .05 (.01, .08)
5.Sample 5 207 56.98⁎⁎⁎ .05 .96 .08 (.05, .11)
Between gender group comparisons
6. Men only 378 64.00⁎⁎⁎ .04 .96 .07 (.05, .09)
7. Women only 546 47.07⁎⁎ .03 .99 .04 (.02, .06)
Note. RMR = root-mean-square residual; CFI = comparative t index; RMSEA = root-
mean-square error of approximation.
pb.05.
⁎⁎ pb.01.
⁎⁎⁎ pb.001.
Table 5
Testretest reliability at 2 weeks and 5 weeks.
Subscale
Time 1 Time 2 Mean
change
Stability
r
MSDMSDt p
2 weeks (from sample 4, n = 91)
Ego-centric authenticity 7.14 2.62 7.33 2.36 1.08 .28 .79
Other-distorted authenticity 9.35 2.50 9.41 2.70 .31 .76 .79
Balanced authenticity 12.15 1.39 12.05 1.55 .72 .48 .60
5 weeks (from sample 3, n = 85)
Ego-centric authenticity 7.07 2.21 7.13 2.93 .86 .39 .71
Other-distorted authenticity 9.21 2.67 9.41 2.85 1.57 .12 .70
Balanced authenticity 12.08 1.74 11.81 2.22 .26 .80 .70
Note. For each r,pb.001.
320 Y.N. Wang / Personality and Individual Differences 94 (2016) 316323
correlated with both the positive and negative dimensions of empathy
(range of absolute r=.22 to .45). In contrast, balanced authenticity
was positively correlated with the positive dimension of empathy, but
was not correlated with the negative dimension.
6.3.7. Correlations with (unmitigated) agency and (unmitigated)
communion
Consistent with optimal well-being theory (Bakan, 1966), SWB was
positively related to both agency (r= .76, pb.001) and communion
(r= .27, pb.001). As predicted, balanced authenticity was also found
to be positively correlated with both agency (r= .45, pb.001) and com-
munion (r=.32,pb.001), while ego-centric authenticity was signi-
cantly correlated with unmitigated agency (r= .51, pb.001). In
contrast, other-distorted authenticity was signicantly correlated with
unmitigated communion (r= . 43, pb.001). These results are presented
in Table 8.
Wood et al.s(2008)Authenticity Scale was shown to be negatively
correlated with both unmitigated agency (r=.26, pb.001) and un-
mitigated communion (r=.47, pb.001), but was signicantly related
only to agency (r=.49,pb.001), not communion (r=.13). Thus, bal-
anced authenticity may be considered to be a better predictor than
general authenticity of optimal well-being (including agency and
communion).
6.3.8. Correlations with PWB and SWB
As predicted, ego-centric authenticity was positively correlated with
autonomy (r= .33, pb.001), but negatively correlated with relations
with others (r=.24, pb.01), while other-distorted authenticity
was negatively correlated with all 4 aspects of PWB. More importantly,
balanced authenticity was positively correlated with all 4 factors (see
Table 9).
In addition, a distinctive correlation pattern was seen to emerge be-
tween the AIRS and needs satisfaction. Egocentric authenticity and
other-distorted authenticity were found to be negatively correlated
with self-esteem and SWB, while balanced authenticity was positively
correlated with both self-esteem and SWB, even after social desirability
was controlled for (see Table 10).
7. General discussion
Based largely on the Eastern concept of dialecticism (Cheung et al.,
2003), the current study theoretically conceptualized and empirically
developed the AIRS in order to quantify the novel conceptualization of
balanced authenticity. Study 1 developed the AIRS based on a tripartite
conception of authenticity in relationships, and Study 2 conrmed the
scale's factor structure, tested its reliability and validity, and presented
the rst evidence that balanced authenticity predicts optimal well-
being through the achievement of both agency and communion.
The AIRS appears to have sound psychometric properties. First, the
2-week and 5-week testretest reliability coefcients ranged from .60
to .79, suggesting that scale responses are stable across short intervals,
as would be expected for a trait measure. Second, the AIRS demon-
strates an empirical distinction in variance from both the B ig Five factors
and social desirability. A linear combination of the Big Five factors ex-
plained only a maximum of 38% of the variance in the subscales of the
AIRS. This nding suggests that the scale is more than just a reection
of these traits. As expected, egocentric authenticity had only a weak,
non-signicant correlation with social desirability, while other-
distorted authenticity and balanced authenticity were signicantly cor-
related with social desirability. However, the relational patterns be-
tween these variables were shown to be completely independent of
each other, as other-distorted authenticity was positively correlated
with SDE but was negatively correlated with IM. This suggests that indi-
viduals characterized by other-distorted authenticity deliberately at-
tempt to manipulate others' impressions of them, but subconsciously
consider themselves to be inferior. However, balanced authenticity
was positively correlated with SDE and negatively correlated with IM.
This nding implies that individuals characterized by balanced authen-
ticity have a positive self-image and will be unlikely to try to please
others just to elicit a positive reaction.
Table 6
Correlations between AIRS and social desirability (Study 2).
Subscale Social desirability
SDE IM
Sample 3 (n = 216)
Ego-centric authenticity .07 .12
Other-distorted authenticity .27⁎⁎⁎ .47⁎⁎⁎
Balanced authenticity .31⁎⁎⁎ .20⁎⁎
SWLS .44⁎⁎⁎ .37⁎⁎⁎
Sample 4 (n = 200)
Ego-centric authenticity .14.13
Other-distorted authenticity .38⁎⁎⁎ .43⁎⁎⁎
Balanced authenticity .33⁎⁎⁎ .24⁎⁎
Self-esteem .50⁎⁎⁎ .51⁎⁎⁎
SWLS .55⁎⁎⁎ .49⁎⁎⁎
Note. SWLS = Satisfaction with Life Scale; SDE = self-decep tive enhancement; IM =
impression management.
pb.05.
⁎⁎ pb.01.
⁎⁎⁎ pb.001.
Table 7
Correlations between AIRS and empathy (Study 2).
Subscale Fantasy Empathic
concern
Personal
distress
Perspective
taking
Participants from sample 4, n = 91
Ego-centric authenticity .27.29⁎⁎ .02 .55⁎⁎⁎
Other-distorted authenticity .22.16 .45⁎⁎⁎ .25
Balanced authenticity .22.25⁎⁎ .15 .40⁎⁎⁎
Self-esteem .20 .20 .43⁎⁎⁎ .36⁎⁎
SWLS .14 .22.44⁎⁎ .30⁎⁎
Participants from sample 3, n = 85
Ego-centric authenticity .37⁎⁎ .36⁎⁎ .10 .47⁎⁎⁎
Other-distorted authenticity .37⁎⁎⁎ .30⁎⁎ .56⁎⁎⁎ .27
Balanced authenticity .21.22.23.54⁎⁎⁎
SWLS .17 .02 .12 .30⁎⁎
Note. SWLS = Satisfaction with Life Scale.
pb.05.
⁎⁎ pb.01.
⁎⁎⁎ pb.001.
Table 8
AIRS, authenticityscale, SWB, agency(or unmitigatedagency) and communion (or unmit-
igated communion) (Study 2).
Subscale Agency Communion Unmitigated
agency
Unmitigated
communion
AIRS
Ego-centric authenticity .11 .20 .51⁎⁎⁎ .16
Other-distorted authenticity .27⁎⁎⁎ .23⁎⁎ .09 .43⁎⁎⁎
Balanced authenticity .45⁎⁎⁎ .32⁎⁎⁎ .23⁎⁎ .09
SWB .76⁎⁎⁎ .27⁎⁎⁎ .34⁎⁎⁎ .05
Authenticity scale
Authentic living .45⁎⁎⁎ .07 .02 .21⁎⁎
Accepting external inuence .43⁎⁎⁎ .01 .28⁎⁎⁎ .23⁎⁎
Self alienation .27⁎⁎⁎ .29⁎⁎⁎ .24⁎⁎ .58⁎⁎⁎
Total .49⁎⁎⁎ .13 .26⁎⁎⁎ .47⁎⁎⁎
Note. SWB = Subjective Well-being. Participants are from sample 5 (n=207).
pb.05.
⁎⁎ pb.01.
⁎⁎⁎ pb.001.
321Y.N. Wang / Personality and Individual Differences 94 (2016) 316323
Third, correlations with (unmitigated) agency, (unmitigated) com-
munion, empathy, relationship-contingent self-esteem, and fear of neg-
ative evaluation provided evidence that the AIRS has good discriminant
validity. Egocentric authenticity was found to correlate with both un-
mitigated agency and low empathy. Other-distorted authenticity was
found to correlate with unmitigated communion, relationship-
contingent self-esteem, and fear of negative evaluation. More impor-
tantly, balanced authenticity was shown to correlate with agency, com-
munion, and empathy, but demonstrated no correlation with unstable
self-esteem.
Finally, balanced authenticity was found to be signicantly correlat-
ed with both SWB and PWB. This is particularly notable since there was
no item overlap between the measures assessing balanced authenticity
and the variables related to well-being. Authenticity is considered to be
central to well-being (Goldman & Kernis, 2002; Kifer, Heller, Perunovic,
& Galinsky, 2013; Wood et al., 2008), however our study is the rst to
reveal that balanced authenticity, not ego-centric authenticity, is re-
sponsible for the predictive power of this factor. This nding will con-
tribute to our understanding of the relational essence of authenticity
and its subsequent relationship with well-being.
8. Issues for future research
The theoretical and empirical development of the AIRs allows for
further theoretical testing, in addition to addressing various questions
raised in this article. First, previous theories have tended to view au-
thenticity as an internal phenomenon that reects one's inner experi-
ence and true self (Goldman & Kernis, 2002; Wang, 2015a; Wood
et al., 2008). This view has limited the scope and effectiveness of psy-
chotherapy. The present study suggests that only balanced authenticity
is capable of maximizing the adaptive value of authenticity, so balanced
authenticity may be considered to be superior to Wood et al. (2008)s
general authenticity in predicting well-being. Specically, Study 1
showed that general authenticity positively inuenced both self-
esteem andwell-being through balanced authenticity. More important-
ly, Study 2 revealed thatgeneral authenticity was only related toagency,
but had no association with communion, which is also an important
prerequisite for well-being. Third, the negative effect of egocentric au-
thenticity on relationship satisfaction shows that general authenticity
will not lead to well-being when others' inuence is taken into consid-
eration. Thus, Wood et al.s (2008) conceptualization of authentic living
and accepting external inuence as components of authenticity may be
questionable. The current study shows that authenticity is a better pre-
dictor than general authenticity of global well-being. This nding is like-
ly to have considerable and wide-ranging therapeutic implications.
Second, the concept of balanced authenticity could illuminate fur-
ther waysin which the true selfmay be both differentiated and integrat-
ed with external inuences when acting as a predictor of well-being, as
it has been implied that it is necessary to maintain a balance between
self-consistency and interpersonal exibility in order to achieve high
levels of well-being.
Finally, given the important contribution of balanced authenticity to
optimal well-being, it is necessary to identify the specic mechanisms
that may mediate this relationship. One likely candidate is androgyny
(Bem, 1974, 1978; Lubinski, Tellegen, & Butcher, 1981; Woodhill &
Samuels, 2003), as balanced authenticity may reasonably be expected
to predict higher well-being as a result of an increase in such behavior.
9. Limitations and conclusion
The present study had several limitations. First, all participants were
Chinese, and thus, the generalizability of these results to different cul-
tures mustbe established. Second, our primary nding needs to be rep-
licated by questionnaire surveys. Experimental manipulation or
context-specic research needs to be conducted in order to move be-
yond the reliance on self-report data. Third, longitudinal studies should
be conducted in order to better illustrate thereciprocal relationship be-
tween balanced authenticity and well-being.
Despite these limitations and noted areas for further exploration, our
ndings strongly indicate that the AIRS is psychometrically sound and
that balanced authenticity makes a comprehensive contribution to the
prediction of well-being. The AIRS may facilitate future research on
the role of balanced authenticity across Western populations.
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... Research is not conclusive about the relationship between gender typing and SWB. The androgyny hypothesis has been confirmed in studies in which both agency and communion were positively related to SWB (Wang, 2016). Also, mental health is related to androgynous individuals, while people who perceive themselves as having characteristics of only masculinity or femininity scored less (Pauletti et al., 2017). ...
... Las investigaciones no son conclusivas en lo que respecta a la relación entre la tipificación de género y el SWB. La hipótesis de la androginia se ha confirmado en estudios en los que la dimensión relacional y la agéntica estaban relacionadas positivamente con el SWB (Wang, 2016). Además, la salud mental está relacionada positivamente con la androginia, mientras que las personas que perciben tener características exclusivamente masculinas o femeninas, obtuvieron puntuaciones más bajas (Pauletti et al., 2017). ...
... Gender Role Self-Concept School-Related Well-Being boys develop increasingly differentiated gender role identities due to increased pressure to conform to stereotypical gender roles (Hill and Lynch, 1983). These two developmental processes are interrelated, as it has been repeatedly shown that differences in the extent to which individuals adopt stereotypically masculine and feminine traits in their self-concept impact their psychological adjustment and well-being (Abele, 2014;Wang, 2016;Martínez-Marín and Martínez, 2019;Matud et al., 2019). Likewise, high levels of well-being in adolescence enable young people to deal with developmental tasks and promote a healthy transition to adulthood (Pyhältö et al., 2010). ...
... The androgyny model (Bem, 1974;Spence and Helmreich, 1979) posits that psychological well-being is maximized when one has an androgynous gender role self-concept, which encompasses a broad set of attributes and behavioral options that allow for flexible behavior and successful coping with different demands and life situations. Studies have found that women and men whose self-concept includes both masculineinstrumental and feminine-expressive characteristics have greater well-being (e.g., Wang, 2016;Matud et al., 2019). More recent studies using both-a new measure of gender identity (Egan and Perry, 2001;Pauletti et al., 2017) and self-ascribed gender typical attributes (Martínez-Marín and Martínez, 2019), showed benefits of androgyny for well-being, self-esteem and psychological adaptation of adolescents. ...
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It has been repeatedly shown that the extent to which individuals adopt stereotypically masculine and feminine traits in their self-concept impacts their health and well-being. This is especially important in adolescence, when developmental changes and social pressures to conform to stereotypical gender roles can affect psychological functioning. However, previous studies investigating relationship between gender role self-concept and well-being in adolescents focused mostly on general well-being rather than well-being in specific contexts. Given that school is one of the most important contexts for adolescents’ development and well-being, the aim of this study was to investigate differences between adolescents with different gender role self-concepts (masculine, feminine, androgynous and undifferentiated) in school-related well-being. In line with the new conceptualization of well-being uniting hedonic (pleasure attainment and pain avoidance) and eudemonic (self-actualization and having meaningful purpose in one’s life) approaches, the present study used a measure of school-related well-being encompassing five domains suggested in the EPOCH (Engagement, Perseverance, Optimism, Connectedness and Happiness) model as well as a superordinate well-being factor. A total of 999 Austrian adolescents (52.2% girls, Mage = 13.79, SDage = 1.53) answered inventories assessing adolescents’ gender role self-concept (GRI-JUG) and school-related well-being (EPOCH-G-S). The results supported the androgyny model of well-being, showing clear advantages of having both positive masculine and feminine qualities in one’s self-concept for optimal levels of school-related well-being. In addition, our results indicated the strong importance of femininity in adolescence and the school context. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
... However, a few studies have suggested that authenticity may not always be a protective factor for mental health. For example, Wang (2016) found that authenticity only benefits individual mental health and well-being if there is a balance between their self and others; either ego-centric or otherdistorted authenticity was related to lower well-being. Moreover, authentically expressing negative emotions was found to lower personal and relational well-being for individuals with a high relational-interdependent selfconstrual (Le & Impett, 2013). ...
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Numerous studies on Western cultures have suggested a strong linkage between authenticity and mental health. However, little is known about whether such an association can be generalized to Eastern cultures. This study aimed to conduct a cross‐cultural comparison on the association between three dimensions of authenticity (authentic living, self‐alienation, and accepting external influence) and two factors of mental health (negative and positive) across Western and Eastern cultures. Measurement invariance tests were carried out and multigroup structural regression models developed on two college samples from the US (n = 392) and China (n = 281). Results suggested that the associations between authenticity and the negative factor of mental health were consistent across cultures, where both self‐alienation and accepting external influence were positively associated with anxiety. However, the associations between authenticity and the positive factor of mental health were different in the US and Chinese samples. Specifically, both authentic living and accepting external influence were significantly associated with life satisfaction in the US sample but not in the Chinese sample. Findings stress that having a nondistorted perception of the true self is critically related to lower levels of anxiety across cultures and highlighted the need to identify culture‐specific promotive factors for life satisfaction.
... Proponent of the first of these perspectives can refer to 12 a seminal work of Charles Taylor in which he argues that authenticity is a contemporary moral ideal, that is, "what a better or higher mode of life would be, where "better" and "higher" are defined not in terms of what we happen to desire or need, but offer a standard of what we ought to desire" (Taylor 1991, 16). A proponent of the second perspective can refer to psychological studies showing a vital role of authenticity in well-being (see Robinson et al. 2013;Sutton 2020;Wang 2016;Womick, Foltz, and King 2019), or to the role of authenticity in personal autonomy (see, e.g., Christman 2009Christman , 2018Dworkin 1988;Frankfurt 1971;Watson 1975). ...
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There has been a growing interest in research concerning memory modification technologies (MMTs) in recent years. Neuroscientists and psychologists are beginning to explore the prospect of controllable and intentional modification of human memory. One of the technologies with the greatest potential to this end is optogenetics-an invasive neuromodula-tion technique involving the use of light to control the activity of individual brain cells. It has recently shown the potential to modify specific long-term memories in animal models in ways not yet possible with other MMTs. As the therapeutic potential of optogenetics has already prompted approval of the first human trials, it is especially important and timely to consider the opportunities and dangers this technology may entail. In this article, we focus on possible consequences of optogenetics as an MMT by analyzing fundamental threats potentially associated with memory modifications: the potential disruption of personality and authenticity.
... According to Zhongyong wisdom, when a pair is formed (such as self and others or agency and communion), there will also be a midpoint or a mean (Cheung et al., 2003;Pang, 2009;Wang, 2016;Yang & Chiu, 1997). For example, as a just-right method of interaction with others, "neither humble nor pushy" (bu bei bu kang) describes a state that transcends both agency and communion in this negated version of the third possibility. ...
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Based on Zhongyong wisdom (or the Doctrine of the Mean), the current study argues that syncretic self-esteem, depending on concerns for both the self and others, relates to both agency and communion when controlling for exclusive contingency on either self-interests (i.e., peculiar self-esteem) or the interests of others (i.e., compromised self-esteem). Study 1 showed that syncretic self-esteem was positively correlated with the personality traits of agency and communion, but not with unmitigated agency and communion, when controlling for peculiar and compromised self-esteem. Study 2 showed that syncretic self-esteem was positively correlated with the simultaneous endorsing of high self-competence and self-liking after controlling for peculiar and compromised self-esteem. These results could theoretically help promote both agency and communion and, in practice, contribute to the healthy formation of contingent self-esteem, thus promoting the lasting benefits of human well-being.
... It is an essential element of human functioning and a central variable in humanistic and positive psychology (Lenton, Slabu, Sedikides, & Power, 2013). Evidence indicates that authenticity can promote subjective well-being (Boyraz & Kuhl, 2015), improve psychological functioning (Goldman, 2006), and decrease negative emotions and stress (Wang, 2016). Although the study of employee authenticity at work is still in its early stage, authenticity has been found to be positively related to job satisfaction, work engagement, and job performance (Ménard & Brunet, 2011;Van den Bosch & Taris, 2014a, 2014b. ...
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The experience of authenticity is conducive to job performance. However, research has not examined the underlying mechanism. Additionally, knowledge about the antecedents of authenticity is limited, and research findings regarding the relationship between authenticity and work outcomes are exclusively at the between-person level. To advance the research on authenticity at work, the current study investigated the motivation process through which authenticity influences job performance and examined the role of supportive leadership in facilitating authenticity. We tested the hypotheses at both the between-person and within-person levels and found convergent results. Autonomous motivation mediated the positive relationship between authenticity and task performance/work proactivity, and supportive leadership was found to positively predict authenticity. Theoretical implications and managerial suggestions are discussed.
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The aim of the research was to investigate the effect of cyberostracism on state authenticity. For this purpose, I conducted two experimental studies using the Cyberball paradigm. The research revealed that ostracism activated using the Cyberball procedure decreased both in-game and post-game authenticity, though in the latter case the effect was clearly weaker and associated mainly with the affective aspects of authenticity. Moreover, Study 1 (N = 87, 65.5% women, Mage = 21.37 years, SDage = 1.55) showed that basic need satisfaction mediated the effect of cyberostracism on state authenticity, while Study 2 (N = 184, 66.8% women, Mage = 21.53 years, SDage = 1.54) revealed that rejection anxiety moderated the effects of cyberostracism on most measures of post-game authenticity. These findings are consistent both with the results of previous studies showing the detrimental impact of social rejection on different aspects of the self and with the recent conceptualizations of authenticity highlighting its interpersonal sources.
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The story of who we are is central to our sense of authenticity and this story is constructed from our autobiographical memories. Yet we know surprisingly little about the functions that autobiographical memories of being authentic serve. This study provides a preliminary examination of the self, social and directive functions used in autobiographical memories of being authentic and inauthentic. Participants recalled times they felt they had been authentic or inauthentic at work. Analyses revealed that the self and directive functions were significantly more prevalent than the social function. In addition, authentic memories were most strongly associated with the self function while inauthentic memories were more likely to be used for the directive function. This may indicate that recall of an authentic experience serves to support one’s current self-identity, while recall of an inauthentic experience provides an opportunity to direct future behaviour towards a more authentic response. This study provides some of the first evidence for how autobiographical memories of being authentic or inauthentic may function in developing a coherent story of self that is needed for a sense of authenticity.
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By definition, authentic people presumably do not fall prey to the self‐evaluation biases which pervade human social cognition yet a close look at the existing literature suggests this presumption is ill‐founded. For example, only a few studies have examined whether people feel more authentic when they make decisions which express their true selves in the face of social pressure. In contrast to theories of authenticity, studies find that feelings of authenticity are either unrelated or unexpectedly decreased in relation to decisions which draw on the true self. Furthermore, behavioral and neural research do not consistently find that feelings of authenticity arise in the absence of self‐serving biases. We propose that we know a lot less about the thoughts of an authentic person than is widely believed and some of the core assumptions may be wrong. We posit specific methodological considerations and research questions which need to be addressed before it will be possible to conclude whether core assumptions about social cognition and authenticity have robust empirical support (or need to be revised). A research program which illuminates the relation between social cognition and authenticity will be helpful for understanding the manner in which a person's thoughts contribute to the experience of authenticity and its benefits.
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Possessing power contributes to high self-esteem, but how power enhances self-esteem is still unknown. As power is associated with both self-oriented goals and social-responsibility goals, we proposed that power predicts self-esteem through two positive personal and interpersonal results: authenticity and relationship satisfaction. Three studies were carried out with a total of 505 Chinese participants, including college students and adults, who completed surveys that assessed personal power, self-esteem, authenticity, relationship satisfaction, communal orientation, and social desirability. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that power, authenticity, and relationship satisfaction each uniquely contributed to self-esteem. More importantly, multiple mediation analysis showed that authenticity and relationship satisfaction both mediated the effects of power on self-esteem, even when controlling for participants' communal orientation and social desirability. Our findings demonstrate that authenticity and relationship satisfaction represent two key mechanisms by which power is associated with self-esteem.
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To facilitate a multidimensional approach to empathy the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) includes 4 subscales: Perspective-Taking (PT) Fantasy (FS) Empathic Concern (EC) and Personal Distress (PD). The aim of the present study was to establish the convergent and discriminant validity of these 4 subscales. Hypothesized relationships among the IRI subscales between the subscales and measures of other psychological constructs (social functioning self-esteem emotionality and sensitivity to others) and between the subscales and extant empathy measures were examined. Study subjects included 677 male and 667 female students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes at the University of Texas. The IRI scales not only exhibited the predicted relationships among themselves but also were related in the expected manner to other measures. Higher PT scores were consistently associated with better social functioning and higher self-esteem; in contrast Fantasy scores were unrelated to these 2 characteristics. High EC scores were positively associated with shyness and anxiety but negatively linked to egotism. The most substantial relationships in the study involved the PD scale. PD scores were strongly linked with low self-esteem and poor interpersonal functioning as well as a constellation of vulnerability uncertainty and fearfulness. These findings support a multidimensional approach to empathy by providing evidence that the 4 qualities tapped by the IRI are indeed separate constructs each related in specific ways to other psychological measures.
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In 2 studies, college students evidenced differing levels of the "Big-Five" traits in different roles, supporting social-contextualist assumptions regarding trait expression. Supporting organismic theories of personality, within-subject variations in the Big Five were predictable from variations in the degree of psychological authenticity felt in different roles. In addition, two concepts of self-integrat ion or true selfhood were examined: 1 based on high consistency of trait profiles across roles (i.e., lowself-concept differentiation; E. M. Donahue, R. W. Robins, B. W. Roberts, & O. P. John, 1993) and 1 based on high mean levels of authenticity felt across roles. The 2 self-integration measures were found to be independent predictors of psychological and physical well-being indicating that both self-consistency and psychological authenticity are vital for organized functioning and health.
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There are pervasive sex differences in psychological and physical well-being, many of which can be linked to the differential socialization of men and women. Numerous studies have linked psychological masculinity and femininity to well-being. In the present article, this literature is explained by focusing on the specific personality traits captured by conventional measures of masculinity and femininity: agency (focus on self and forming separations) and communion (focus on others and forming connections), respectively. Both agency and communion are required for optimal well-being (D. Bakan, 1966); when one exists in the absence of the other (unmitigated communion or unmitigated agency), however, negative health outcomes occur. Research that is consistent with this idea is presented, and the processes by which unmitigated agency and unmitigated communion affect well-being are explored. These processes involve control, social support, and health behavior.
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