The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight

New psychological and neural perspectives

Jennifer Beer, Michelle A. Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

People quickly assess the honesty of others but how honest are they with themselves and does it matter for their success and happiness? Our understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of self-insight is currently clouded by a number of measurement issues in the existing literature on self-evaluation and related constructs such as authenticity. Most studies do not use independent sources to evaluate self-concept, objectivity of the self-concept, and the consequence of their discrepancy. Additionally, daily diary studies indicate that research on related constructs such as authenticity may fail to capture accurate self-insight as intended. Furthermore, research drawing on neuropsychological populations, fMRI with healthy populations, and computational modeling has shown that not all self-insight failures are alike even if they appear the same at the level of behavioral measurement. For example, the neural profiles of overly positive self-evaluations that are driven by the desire to defend self-esteem are predictable and distinguishable from neural profiles of positive self-evaluation arising from limited cognitive engagement. Therefore, future research must aim for more rigorous measurement to understand the underlying cause of self-insight failure (rather than just identifying a shortcoming) to meaningfully understand the benefits and costs of different types of self-insight failure. The current research does not allow us to confidently conclude that self-insight has advantages over some types of self-insight failure (or vice versa) and we conclude by calling for more systematic investigation of why, when, where, and for whom self-insight is costly or beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
ISSN (Print)0065-2601

Fingerprint

Diagnostic Self Evaluation
Self Concept
Psychology
Research
Happiness
Population
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keywords

  • Authenticity
  • Brain
  • Computational modeling
  • Emotion
  • Frontal lobe
  • Lesion
  • Motivation
  • Self
  • Well-being
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Beer, J., & Harris, M. A. (2019). The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight: New psychological and neural perspectives. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology). Academic Press Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.04.003

The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight : New psychological and neural perspectives. / Beer, Jennifer; Harris, Michelle A.

Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Academic Press Inc., 2019. (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Beer, J & Harris, MA 2019, The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight: New psychological and neural perspectives. in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Academic Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.04.003
Beer J, Harris MA. The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight: New psychological and neural perspectives. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Academic Press Inc. 2019. (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology). https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.04.003
Beer, Jennifer ; Harris, Michelle A. / The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight : New psychological and neural perspectives. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Academic Press Inc., 2019. (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology).
@inbook{3950fefa92584902b7610e426251ea18,
title = "The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight: New psychological and neural perspectives",
abstract = "People quickly assess the honesty of others but how honest are they with themselves and does it matter for their success and happiness? Our understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of self-insight is currently clouded by a number of measurement issues in the existing literature on self-evaluation and related constructs such as authenticity. Most studies do not use independent sources to evaluate self-concept, objectivity of the self-concept, and the consequence of their discrepancy. Additionally, daily diary studies indicate that research on related constructs such as authenticity may fail to capture accurate self-insight as intended. Furthermore, research drawing on neuropsychological populations, fMRI with healthy populations, and computational modeling has shown that not all self-insight failures are alike even if they appear the same at the level of behavioral measurement. For example, the neural profiles of overly positive self-evaluations that are driven by the desire to defend self-esteem are predictable and distinguishable from neural profiles of positive self-evaluation arising from limited cognitive engagement. Therefore, future research must aim for more rigorous measurement to understand the underlying cause of self-insight failure (rather than just identifying a shortcoming) to meaningfully understand the benefits and costs of different types of self-insight failure. The current research does not allow us to confidently conclude that self-insight has advantages over some types of self-insight failure (or vice versa) and we conclude by calling for more systematic investigation of why, when, where, and for whom self-insight is costly or beneficial.",
keywords = "Authenticity, Brain, Computational modeling, Emotion, Frontal lobe, Lesion, Motivation, Self, Well-being, fMRI",
author = "Jennifer Beer and Harris, {Michelle A.}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.04.003",
language = "English (US)",
series = "Advances in Experimental Social Psychology",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
booktitle = "Advances in Experimental Social Psychology",
address = "United States",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - The advantages and disadvantages of self-insight

T2 - New psychological and neural perspectives

AU - Beer, Jennifer

AU - Harris, Michelle A.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - People quickly assess the honesty of others but how honest are they with themselves and does it matter for their success and happiness? Our understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of self-insight is currently clouded by a number of measurement issues in the existing literature on self-evaluation and related constructs such as authenticity. Most studies do not use independent sources to evaluate self-concept, objectivity of the self-concept, and the consequence of their discrepancy. Additionally, daily diary studies indicate that research on related constructs such as authenticity may fail to capture accurate self-insight as intended. Furthermore, research drawing on neuropsychological populations, fMRI with healthy populations, and computational modeling has shown that not all self-insight failures are alike even if they appear the same at the level of behavioral measurement. For example, the neural profiles of overly positive self-evaluations that are driven by the desire to defend self-esteem are predictable and distinguishable from neural profiles of positive self-evaluation arising from limited cognitive engagement. Therefore, future research must aim for more rigorous measurement to understand the underlying cause of self-insight failure (rather than just identifying a shortcoming) to meaningfully understand the benefits and costs of different types of self-insight failure. The current research does not allow us to confidently conclude that self-insight has advantages over some types of self-insight failure (or vice versa) and we conclude by calling for more systematic investigation of why, when, where, and for whom self-insight is costly or beneficial.

AB - People quickly assess the honesty of others but how honest are they with themselves and does it matter for their success and happiness? Our understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of self-insight is currently clouded by a number of measurement issues in the existing literature on self-evaluation and related constructs such as authenticity. Most studies do not use independent sources to evaluate self-concept, objectivity of the self-concept, and the consequence of their discrepancy. Additionally, daily diary studies indicate that research on related constructs such as authenticity may fail to capture accurate self-insight as intended. Furthermore, research drawing on neuropsychological populations, fMRI with healthy populations, and computational modeling has shown that not all self-insight failures are alike even if they appear the same at the level of behavioral measurement. For example, the neural profiles of overly positive self-evaluations that are driven by the desire to defend self-esteem are predictable and distinguishable from neural profiles of positive self-evaluation arising from limited cognitive engagement. Therefore, future research must aim for more rigorous measurement to understand the underlying cause of self-insight failure (rather than just identifying a shortcoming) to meaningfully understand the benefits and costs of different types of self-insight failure. The current research does not allow us to confidently conclude that self-insight has advantages over some types of self-insight failure (or vice versa) and we conclude by calling for more systematic investigation of why, when, where, and for whom self-insight is costly or beneficial.

KW - Authenticity

KW - Brain

KW - Computational modeling

KW - Emotion

KW - Frontal lobe

KW - Lesion

KW - Motivation

KW - Self

KW - Well-being

KW - fMRI

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065923595&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85065923595&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.04.003

DO - 10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.04.003

M3 - Chapter

T3 - Advances in Experimental Social Psychology

BT - Advances in Experimental Social Psychology

PB - Academic Press Inc.

ER -