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
C. R. Snyder
Uniqueness involves a person's distinctiveness in relation to other people. Such uniqueness can reflect actual behaviors or a person's perceptions regarding his or her differences. People can vary in the degree to which they want such distinctiveness, with some being highly desirous of specialness (high need for uniqueness) and others who do not want to stand out from other people (low need for uniqueness). Uniqueness seeking probably is a modern phenomenon because people centuries ago were concerned about fundamental survival issues and did not have the time to attend to their uniqueness. Toward the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, however, people were more assured of meeting their basic survival needs, and accordingly, they turned to issues involving the maintenance of their self-concepts. Thus, in increasingly technological and highly populated societies, people became more focused on matters pertaining to their uniqueness. Although there were 17thand 18th-century books and stories about people ...