The Effects of Feedback Self-Consistency, Therapist Status, and Attitude Toward Therapy on Reaction to Personality Feedback Academic Article uri icon


  • Individuals' reactions to interpersonal feedback may depend on characteristics of the feedback and the feedback source. The present authors examined the effects of experimentally manipulated personality feedback that they--in the guise of therapists--e-mailed to participants on the degree of their acceptance of the feedback. Consistent with Self-Verification Theory (W. B. Swann Jr., 1987), participants accepted feedback that was consistent with their self-views more readily than they did feedback that was inconsistent with their self-views. Furthermore, the authors found main effects for therapist's status and participant's attitude toward therapy. Significant interactions showed effects in which high-status therapists and positive client attitudes increased acceptance of self-inconsistent feedback, effects that were only partially mediated by clients' perceptions of therapist competence. The present results indicate the possibility that participants may be susceptible to self-concept change or to self-fulfilling prophecy effects in therapy when they have a positive attitude toward therapy or are working with a high-status therapist.

publication date

  • August 2006