How does self-concept clarity influence happiness in social settings? The role of strangers versus friends
Self-concept clarity (SCC) defined as the extent to which the content of an individual's self-beliefs is clearly and confidently defined and internally consistent influences experiences in social relationships. This paper extends the previous literature on SCC by proposing and demonstrating that high-SCC individuals anticipate and experience more happiness than low-SCC individuals when they share a social setting with friends and anticipate and experience less happiness than low-SCC individuals when they share a social setting with strangers and that this is because of perceived interpersonal distance. A series of four studies including both online studies and a field study support these predictions. Alternative explanations of self-esteem and self-efficacy are also ruled out. The findings yield both theoretical contributions and practical implications.
Perceived interpersonal distance
Experience with strangers
Experience with friends