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The Curse of the Self – Self-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Curse of the Self: Self-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life

Mark R. Leary


Human beings are unique in their ability to think consciously about themselves. Because they have a capacity for self-awareness not shared by other animals, people can imagine themselves in the future, anticipate consequences, plan ahead, improve themselves, and perform many other behaviors that are uniquely characteristic of human beings. Yet, despite the obvious advantages of self-reflection, the capacity for self-thought comes at a high price as people's lives are adversely affected and their inner chatter interferes with their success, pollutes their relationships, and undermines their hap ... More

Keywords: self-awareness, self-reflection, egocentrism, egotism, self-serving biases, social psychology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark R. Leary, author
Wake Forest University