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Self Criticism and Self-Enhancement: Theory, Research and Clinical Implications

by Edward C Chang American Psychological Association
Pub Date:
Hbk 296 pages
AU$115.00 NZ$118.26
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Audience: Academic Libraries; Social psychologists (researchers and practitioners); Students (graduate and senior undergraduate).
Comparable Titles: Optimism and Pessimism, (2001), 978-155798-6917. Is a co-editor of Virtue, Vice, and Personality, (2003), Social Problem Solving, (2004), Judgments Over Time, 2006. Other publishers: Self Knowledge and the Self, Routledge, 2000, 978-0415926904, $22.95.
Author Affiliations: University of Michigan

? An anthology of essays examining the many facets of self-criticism and self-enhancement.
? Challenges idea that self-criticism is inherently bad and self-enhancement is inherently good for people.
? Self-criticism and self-enhancement have intense influence on both psychological and physical well-being.

In recent years we have witnessed a proliferation of writing on “positive psychology” that focuses on variables such as optimism, personal control, self-esteem, and personal striving. At the same time, much of recent pop psychology has emphasized the importance of overcoming different forms of self-criticism, including poor self-esteem and perfectionism. These positive or negative variables clearly influence the quality of our lives. But is self-criticism always a bad thing, and is self-enhancement really so unequivocally good? What are the costs and benefits associated with each?

In Self-Criticism and Self-Enhancement: Theory, Research, and Clinical Implications, editor Edward C. Chang has enlisted over 25 distinguished psychologists and scholars who present the pros and cons of regarding self-criticism or self-enhancement as either “good” or “bad.” Collectively, they illustrate the benefits of evaluating these concepts more complexly to demonstrate how negative and positive psychological variables may function as a virtue in one situation and as a vice in another situation. Drawing on the works of both philosophers and researchers, the contributors search for a deeper and broader understanding of these fundamental psychological concepts, and they evaluate their effect on individuals and the larger society.

Contrary to conventional social and personality theories, self-criticism can be both positive and negative (rather than just negative). Conversely, self-enhancement is both positive and negative (rather than just positive).
Self-criticism and self-enhancement are strongly involved in both psychological and physical well-being.
Interventions for promoting “good” self-criticism and self-enhancement are presented.
Volume includes extensive therapy transcripts and case studies.