Presenter: Chris Hopwood, Associate Professor, UC Davis
2121 Berkeley Way, Room 1104
Although the concept of authenticity has been an enduring interest among philosophers, theorists, and psychological scientists, no consensual definition has been achieved. Points of contrast across theories include whether authenticity is a trait or a state, whether it is general or role-specific, the degree to which it encompasses internal experiences and external behaviors, and the extent to which it is adaptive. In a series of 7 well-powered studies using self-report, informant-report, and observational data, we hone in on a core feature of authenticity that we term "realness" that is general, relatively stable, unidimensional, mostly but not universally adaptive, and focused primarily on behavioral expression. The identification of realness as a core feature of authenticity should facilitate future work on its structure, the contextual impacts of different social roles and situations, and its functional relevance.