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The self-concept changes in many ways, and significantly changes when an individual adds positive traits, adds negative traits, removes negative traits, or removes positive traits from their self-concept. These four types of changes or self-processes – self-expansion, self-adulteration, self-pruning, and self-contraction, respectively – provide benefits to the individual (from self-expansion and self-pruning) as well as detriments (from self-adulteration and self-contraction). High self-concept clarity, or how well an individual knows themselves, also provides benefits for the self-concept, such as increased psychological adjustment. We predicted that self-concept clarity would moderate the associations between the self-processes and psychological adjustment. In Study 1, we found support for this moderation for self-pruning and self-contraction, such that when self-concept clarity was high, self-pruning was associated with higher psychological adjustment, while self-contraction was associated with lower psychological adjustment. In Study 2, we found support for this moderation for self-pruning but not self-contraction. The results indicate that self-concept clarity may occasionally amplify the positive and negative effects of the self-processes on psychological adjustment.
Straughn, Samantha, "Self-Concept Clarity as a Moderator of the Associations Between Self-Change and Adjustment" (2017). Psychology Honors Papers. 1.