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Bragging1 to coworkers about a recent promotion2, or posting a photo of your brand new car on Facebook, may seem like harmless ways to share good news. However, a new study from City University London, Carnegie Mellon University and Bocconi

University shows that self-promotion or a "humblebrag" often backfires.

Published in Psychological Science, Irene Scopelliti, George Loewenstein and Joachim Vosgerau wanted to find out why so many people frequently get the trade-off between self-promotion and modesty3 wrong. They found that self-promoters overestimate4 how much their self-promotion elicits5 positive emotions and underestimate how much it elicits negative emotions. As a consequence, when people try to increase the favorability of the opinion others have of them, they excessively self-promote, which has the opposite of the intended effect.

"Most people probably realize that they experience emotions other than pure joy when they are on the receiving end of someone else's self-promotion. Yet, when we engage in self-promotion ourselves, we tend to overestimate others' positive reactions and underestimate their negative ones," said Scopelliti, the study's lead author and a lecturer in marketing6 at City University London who conducted the research while a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon.

"These results are particularly important in the Internet age, when opportunities for self-promotion have proliferated7 via social networking. The effects may be exacerbated8 by the additional distance between people sharing information and their recipient9, which can both reduce the empathy of the self-promoter and decrease the sharing of pleasure by the recipient," she said.

For the study, the researchers ran two experiments to find evidence of the misperception.. A third experiment examined the consequences of the miscalibration, revealing that recipients10 of excessive self-promotion view self-promoters as less likeable and as braggarts.

"This shows how often, when we are trying to make a good impression, it backfires," said Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology11 in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. "Bragging is probably just the tip of the iceberg12 of the self-destructive things we do in the service of self-promotion, from unfortunate flourishes in public speeches to inept13 efforts to 'dress for success' to obviously insincere attempts to ingratiate ourselves to those in power."


1 bragging

v.自夸,吹嘘( brag的现在分词 );大话


He's always bragging about his prowess as a cricketer. 他总是吹嘘自己板球水平高超。来自辞典例句

Now you're bragging, darling. You know you don't need to brag. 这就是夸口,亲爱的。你明知道你不必吹。来自辞典例句

2 promotion



The teacher conferred with the principal about Dick's promotion.教师与校长商谈了迪克的升级问题。

The clerk was given a promotion and an increase in salary.那个职员升了级,加了薪。

3 modesty



Industry and modesty are the chief factors of his success.勤奋和谦虚是他成功的主要因素。

As conceit makes one lag behind,so modesty helps one make progress.骄傲使人落后,谦虚使人进步。

4 overestimate



Don't overestimate seriousness of the problem.别把问题看重了。

We overestimate our influence and our nuisance value.我们过高地估计了自己的影响力和破坏作用。

5 elicits

引出,探出( elicit的第三人称单数 )


You might find that a sympathetic approach elicits kinder and gentler behavior. 你或


It presents information, shares ideas and elicits emotions. 它展示信息、流思想和抒


6 marketing



They are developing marketing network.他们正在发展销售网络。

He often goes marketing.他经常去市场做生意。

7 proliferated

激增( proliferate的过去式和过去分词 );(迅速)繁殖;增生;扩散


Books and articles on the subject have proliferated over the last year. 过去一年以来,论及这一问题的书和文章大量涌现。

Influenza proliferated throughout the country. 流感在全国蔓延。

8 exacerbated

v.使恶化,使加重( exacerbate的过去式和过去分词 )


The symptoms may be exacerbated by certain drugs. 这些症状可能会因为某些药物


The drugs they gave her only exacerbated the pain. 他们给她吃的药只是加重了她的


9 recipient

a.接受的,感受性强的 n.接受者,感受者,容器


Please check that you have a valid email certificate for each recipient. 请检查是否对


Colombia is the biggest U . S aid recipient in Latin America. 哥伦比亚是美国在拉丁美洲最大的援助对象。

10 recipients



The recipients of the prizes had their names printed in the paper. 获奖者的姓名登在


The recipients of prizes had their names printed in the paper. 获奖者名单登在报上。来自《现代英汉综合大词典》

11 psychology



She has a background in child psychology.她受过儿童心理学的教育。

He studied philosophy and psychology at Cambridge.他在剑桥大学学习哲学和心理学。

12 iceberg



The ship hit an iceberg and went under.船撞上一座冰山而沉没了。

The glacier calved a large iceberg.冰河崩解而形成一个大冰山。

13 inept



Whan an inept remark to make on such a formal occasion.在如此正式的场合,怎么


He's quite inept at tennis.他打网球太笨。