Impression Management

Goals, Strategies, and Skills

Authored by: Sandra Metts , Erica Grohskopf

Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills

Print publication date:  January  2003
Online publication date:  February  2003

Print ISBN: 9780805834178
eBook ISBN: 9781410607133
Adobe ISBN: 9781135664114


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It is difficult to imagine any social, professional, or public context in which people do not engage in some level of impression management. From the most mundane decision of what to wear on a given day to enacting scripted routines for exiting a boring conversation, people display awareness that their verbal and nonverbal actions are open to scrutiny by other people. Although these inconsequential enactments may not be as strategically orchestrated as a formal presentation before an audience or as newsworthy as the efforts of a politician to publicly reframe a moral lapse, they are no less indicative of the central role played by impressions in the process of social organizing. Other than walking upright and producing speech, there are few qualities so manifestly human as impression management.

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