Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael H. Kernis & Brian M. Goldman
Authenticity generally reflects the extent to which an individual's core or true self is operative on a day-today basis. Psychologists characterize authenticity as multiple interrelated processes that have important implications for psychological functioning and wellbeing. Specifically, authenticity is expressed in the dynamic operation of four components: awareness (i.e., self-understanding), unbiased processing (i.e., objective self-evaluation), behavior (i.e., actions congruent with core needs, values, preferences), and relational orientation (i.e., sincerity within close relationships). Research findings indicate that each of these components relates to various aspects of healthy psychological and interpersonal adjustment. The importance of being authentic in one's everyday life is evident in phrases like “keep it real” and “be true to yourself.” However, what does it mean to be authentic? For example, does it mean, “be myself at all costs?” Historically, examination of the nature of authenticity and its costs and benefits exists in such diverse sources as William Shakespeare's Polonius, ...