Careful, humble bragging often backfires online
Are you one of those people who constantly post online updates of your vacation, new car or new house? Then, you may want to censor your harmless bit of online bragging. A recent study says that such behaviour often backfires.
Self-promoters overestimate the positive reaction they’d receive upon sharing their good news, according to the study which was published in the journal, Psychological Science.
Trying to gain popularity and increase others’ admiration of them, those who self-promote excessively see their efforts yield the opposite effect, according to the researchers. “Most people probably realise that they experience emotions other than pure joy when they are on the receiving end of someone else’s selfpromotion,” says lead author Irene Scopelliti of City University London and Carnegie Mellon University. “Yet, when we engage in self
promotion ourselves, we tend to overestimate others’ positive reactions and underestimate their negative ones.”
The physical distance between internet users reduces the empathy on all sides, including the bragger and his audience, according to the study. The study also said that self-promoters’ audience members viewed them as less likeable and vain. “Bragging is probably just the tip of the iceberg of the self-destructive things we do in the service of selfpromotion,” says co-author George Lowenstein of CMU.
The researchers say those who plan to engage in selfpromotion would benefit from reflecting on how others might feel from their second-hand perspective and remember that it’s going to be less exciting for them.