Chapter published in:Complimenting Behavior and (Self-)Praise across Social Media: New contexts and new insights
Edited by María Elena Placencia and Zohreh R. Eslami
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 313] 2020
► pp. 289–309
Modified self-praise in social media
Humblebragging, self-presentation, and perceptions of (in)sincerity
Compliments that have the speaker as their referent can be referred to as self-praise. This chapter introduces humblebragging, a modified self-praise speech act that involves both an expression of self-promotion and a modesty element to convey favorable impressions to others. Drawing on literature in both pragmatics and social psychology, we examine the components of humblebrags and how humblebrags can influence impression formation, and we consider how this distinct form of self-praising behavior may be shaped by social media. Finally, we report on an empirical study of the perceptions of humblebrags that finds that humblebrags posted on Facebook are perceived as less honest than straightforward brags and that humblebraggers are viewed as less sincere than braggers, when they received negative social evaluations. The results reveal that humblebragging may undermine the goal of presenting oneself as sincere on social media.
Keywords: compliments, modesty constraint, self-presentation, humblebrags, sincerity, social media, computer-mediated communication, technology-mediated communication, self-praise, humility, complaint
Published online: 17 December 2020
2012 “Bah, Humblebrag: The (Unfortunate) Rise of False Humility.” The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/fashion/bah-humblebrag-the-unfortunate-rise-of-false-humility.html [Accessed: 02.04.2018].
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