The Effects of Self-Regulation on State Authenticity
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Sattin, Amy E
Self-regulation was tested for its direct and indirect effects on state authenticity. A between-subjects online study was conducted, whereby participants were asked to write a paragraph describing their morning routine within either a free-writing condition (low self-regulation) or without using the letters ‘a’ or ‘n’ (high self-regulation). State authenticity was subsequently assessed alongside potential mediators of self-esteem, positive and negative affect, public and private self-consciousness and autonomy. Trait authenticity and trait self-regulation were also assessed as potential moderators. The results indicated that self-regulation depleted levels of state authenticity, regardless of trait differences in authenticity or self-regulation. Mediational analysis did not elucidate the route of effect, however, in light of Deci & Ryan (1985) research, participants may not have internalized the goal of the task, which may have affected the indirect effect via the supposed mediators. The interaction between task success and self-esteem is also investigated. Overall, the data supports a dualistic conception of authenticity as having both state and trait indices (Fleeson & Wilt, 2010) and also supports previous research suggesting that consciously monitoring and regulating behaviour depletes one’s feelings of being ‘real’ (Hoshschild, 1983; Lenton, Bruder, et al. 2011), however explanatory routes require further exploration.