The Authentically Horrible Person: Delineating between Likeability and Authenticity




Decker, Brendon W.

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The present study proposes a systematic exploration of what it means to be perceived as authentic or likeable. This study's origin is based on the current debate amongst researchers arguing whether the perceived authenticity and likeability of others are separate conceptual constructs or simply one in the same. Using the theoretical models specified by Kernis and Goldman (2006) and Wood et al., (2008) as a foundation for conceptualizing authenticity I create nomothetic maps that show how the two constructs of authenticity and likeability are separate. Additionally, I acknowledge how they can be two extremely collinear constructs using dialogue from researchers themselves. In the present study, I identified a collection of characteristics that are expected to capture authentic and likeable behaviors separately. For authenticity, characteristics such as rejecting external influences and engaging is self-disclosure with others are hypothesized to have larger correlates with authenticity than likeability. In contrast, characteristics like physical attractiveness and competence are hypothesized to have larger correlates with likeability than authenticity. The primary goal of the proposed study is to provide evidence in support of authenticity and likeability being two separate and distinct constructs.


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Authenticity, Likeability, Person-Perception