Self-presentations are more likely to be internalized when they can be justified as representative of self. As predicted, when the behavior fell in their latitude of acceptance rather than rejection, Ss with strong prior self-beliefs (defined by self-perceived behavioral variability on the trait dimension) took greater responsibility for their self-perceptions, viewed them as more justifiable, and changed their later self-appraisals more. In contrast, Ss with weak prior self-beliefs were more influenced by extreme self-presentations (in the latitude of rejection) and viewed their behavior as equally justifiable irrespective of the latitude in which it fell. It was also found that negative arousal plays a role in guiding people's reactions to out-of-character behavior. These findings have implications for conceptualizations of the self-concept (e.g., as stable vs. unstable) and the relation between the private and public sides of self. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Impact of self-presentations on private self-beliefs: Effects of prior self-beliefs and misattribution
Schlenker, BR., & Trudeau, J. (1990). Impact of self-presentations on private self-beliefs: Effects of prior self-beliefs and misattribution. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(1), 22-32.