Impression Management Though we often talk about self as one whole identity, we display multiple selves.

We choose to present ourselves depending on a situation. According to the psychologist, William James, a man generally shows a different side of himself to different groups he meets. For e.g. he would show one side of himself to his friends while showing another side of him to his kids. He keeps his self- presentation changing depending on what others expect from him. Schlenker defined impression management as, µthe conscious or unconscious attempt to control images that are projected in real or imaginary social interactions. When these images deal with some aspect of self, we call it self-presentation. There are various theories of self-presentation. The theory called Symbolic Interactionism, by C.H.Cooley and G.H.Mead, stressed that participants in social interactions try to take the role of the other and see themselves as others see them. Another theory, called presentation of the self in everyday life, by Erving Goffman says that the social interaction is a theatrical performance. Every person chooses a face as a background for social interaction. Yet another theory called Situated Identities proposes that for each social setting there is a pattern of social behavior that conveys an identity particularly appropriate for that setting. All these theories agree that we present ourselves depending on the situation and other¶s perception about us. Sometimes we want to look good and sometimes we just want to maintain necessary performance so that we do not look bad. Jones and Pittman (1982) identified five tactics of selfpresentation that the person may adapt. They are: 1) Ingratiation: This is a class of strategic behaviors illicitly designed to influence a particular other person concerning the attractiveness of one's personal qualities. The goal of ingratiator is being likeable. This involves complimenting another person or indulging in flattery with certain amount of credibility and honesty. It also involves conforming, another person¶s view point. It has been observed that we like people who think or act like us. Thus presenting ourselves in the same way can generate favorable response from others. 2) Intimidation: In this strategy the person arouses fear among others to get the work done. He does not care about being likeable, all he wants is to control others and exercise his powers. 3) Self- promotion: This is a kind of advertising. The self-promoter wants to be seen as competent in certain areas. He may acknowledge minor flaws in his skills while emphasizing stronger points of his personality. However, if his claims do not match his abilities, then he may create a very bad impression.

4) Exemplification: In this strategy, the person tries to elicit the impression of moral worthiness and integrity while creating a feeling of guilt among others. When a person says,´ I will finish this work even if I fall sick but you go and enjoy.´ he is using this strategy.

pp.. The third is supplication. assertive strategies refer to more active behaviour like the verbal idealisation of the self. One is instrumental: we want to influence others and gain rewards (Schlenker 1980. Concerning the strategies followed to establish a certain impression. and present ourselves in a manner that is consistent with that image. the use of status symbols or similar practices). Impression-management is neither good nor bad. The second motive of self-presentation is expressive. the main distinction is between defensive and assertive strategies.5) Supplication: In this strategy the person advertises his weaknesses in order to get sympathy. Although. The first is Ingratiation. We construct an image of ourselves to claim personal identity. Some people may stick to one tactic for so long that it may become a consistent aspect of their personality. . (There are two main motives that govern self-presentation. Selfpresentation tactics seem to be a matter of selecting certain characteristics and omitting others rather than a deliberate deception. There are three instrumental goals. when we try to be vulnerable and sad so people will help us and feel bad for us. The second is intimidation. some people specialize in one or two tactics. we exhibit reactance. The person portrays himself as helpless to get the help from others. it is an integral part of our social interaction and everyone gets involved in it every day. a person may use all the five tactics on different occasions. Sometimes they use more than one strategy to influence others. which is aggressively showing anger to get others to hear and obey us. pp.´ the notion that her suppressed personal identity and emotions cause an eventual backlash at her family and community. 169). If we feel like this is restricted. Whereas defensive strategies include behaviours like avoidance of threatening situations or means of self-handicapping. 92). when we try to be happy and display our good qualities so that others will like us (Schlenker 1980. We try to assert our freedom against those who would seek to curtail our self-presentation expressiveness. A classic example is the idea of the ³preacher¶s daughter.

It is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person. impression management is the process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them. when we try to be happy and display our good qualities so that others will like us (Schlenker 1980. when we try to be vulnerable and sad so people will help us and feel bad for us. One is instrumental: we want to influence others and gain rewards (Schlenker 1980. Whereas defensive strategies include behaviours like avoidance of threatening situations or means of self-handicapping. 92). Impression management theory Impression management (IM) theory states that any individual or organization must establish and maintain impressions that are congruent with the perceptions they want to convey to their publics.. We try to assert our freedom against those who would seek to curtail our self-presentation expressiveness. 1-2). There are three instrumental goals. . A classic example is the idea of the ³preacher¶s daughter. pp. which is aggressively showing anger to get others to hear and obey us.(From Wikipedia): In sociology and social psychology. We construct an image of ourselves to claim personal identity. The notion of impression management also refers to practices in professional communication and public relations. Impression Management:Motives and strategies There are two main motives that govern self-presentation. The idea that perception is reality is the basis for this sociological and social psychology theory. we exhibit reactance. It is usually used synonymously with self-presentation. which is framed around the presumption that the other¶s perceptions of you or your organization become the reality from which they form ideas and the basis for intended behaviors. pp. The first is Ingratiation. the theory of impression management encompasses the vital ways in which one establishes and communicates this congruence between personal or organizational goals and their intended actions which create public perception. assertive strategies refer to more active behaviour like the verbal idealisation of the self. where the term is used to describe the process of formation of a company's or organization's public image. From both a communications and public relations viewpoint. and present ourselves in a manner that is consistent with that image. The third is supplication. If we feel like this is restricted. The second motive of self-presentation is expressive. if a person tries to influence the perception of their image. 169). the use of status symbols or similar practices. The second is intimidation. object or event by regulating and controlling information in social interaction (Piwinger & Ebert 2001. pp. the main distinction is between defensive and assertive strategies. Concerning the strategies followed to establish a certain impression.´ the notion that her suppressed personal identity and emotions cause an eventual backlash at her family and community.

explaining the motivations behind complex human performances within a social setting based on a play metaphor. sees interaction as a performance. Erving Goffman also followed a dramaturgical analogy in his seminal book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Furthermore. emphasizing a qualitative analysis of the interactive nature of the communication process. A person's goals are another factor governing the ways and strategies of impression management. The degree of self-efficacy describes whether a person is convinced that it is possible to convey the intended impression. Logically. An example is provided by situations in which embarrassment occurs and threatens the image of a participant. but the crucial ways in which it isn't are not easy to specify. whether real or imaginary. The actions have to be appropriate to the targets.Basic factors influencing impression management A range of factors that govern impression management can be identified." Goffman presented impression management dramaturgically. a stage. some may be irresponsive to audience's reactions while others actively respond to audience reactions in order to elicit positive results. Erving Goffman on impression management Strategic interpersonal behavior to shape or influence impressions formed by an audience is not a new field. and within that culture. While an actor (speaker) tries to project a desired image. impression management is also highly dependent on the situation. These differences in response towards the environment and target audience are called self-monitoring. an audience (listener) might attribute a resonant or discordant image. the awareness of being a potential subject of monitoring is also crucial. In the 20th century. the characteristics of a given social situation are important. The objective of the performance is to provide the audience with an impression consistent with the desired goals of the actor. and all the men and women merely players" [9]. the surrounding cultural norms determine the appropriateness of particular nonverbal behaviours. In addition to these goals. It can be stated that impression management becomes necessary whenever there exists a kind of social situation. Thus. in which he said. The audience can be real or imaginary. Specifically. Plato spoke of the "stage of human life´ and Shakespeare crafted the famous sentence "All the world is a stage. are so fundamental that we usually do not notice our expectations of them. so that the kind of audience as well as the relation to the audience influences the way impression management is realized. This refers to the content of an assertion. Another factor in impression management is self-verification. of course. shaped by the environment and target audience. which also leads to distinct ways of presentation of aspects of the self. "All the world is not. the act of conforming the audience to the person's self-concept. The actor. it has a rich history. Impression management and the media . Goffman¶s work incorporates aspects of a symbolic interactionist perspective. part of the mental programming received through socialization. individuals differ in responses from the interactional environment. IM style norms.

Impression management Theory nevertheless constitutes a field of research on its own. When it comes to practical questions concerning public relations and the way organizations should handle their public image. a phenomenon commonly referred to as "social desirability bias". can be changed. This often shows how far people will go Significance in empirical research and economy Impression management can distort the results of empirical research that relies on interviews and surveys. so that the way people express personal features etc. Selfefficacy can differ according to the fact whether the trial to convince somebody is made through face-to-face-interaction or by means of an e-mail. email or chat is governed by technical restrictions. Communication via devices like telephone.. the assumptions provided by impression management theory can also provide a framework .The medium of communication influences the actions taken in impression management.