Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open peer commentary

Is social interaction based on guile or honesty?

Matthew L. Brooksa1 and William B. Swanna1

a1 Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712-0187. [email protected] [email protected]


Von Hippel & Trivers suggest that people enhance their own self-views as a means of persuading others to adopt similarly inflated perceptions of them. We question the existence of a pervasive desire for self-enhancement, noting that the evidence the authors cite could reflect self-verification strivings or no motive whatsoever. An identity negotiation framework provides a more tenable approach to social interaction.