What is Impression Management? Overview & 5 Facts

Impression management is the effort to control or influence other people’s perceptions. This could be their perception of a certain person, a material possession or an event. Let’s learn more about this content through the article below.

What is Impression Management (IM)?

Impression Management (IM), also known as self-presentation, is the conscious or unconscious process by which individuals strive to affect others’ perceptions of a person, object, or event through the regulation and management of information in social interactions.What is Impression Management? In addition, the Impression Management hypothesis explains that individuals must guarantee that their perceptions and cognitions align with their goals and activities. Read more about cognitive dissonance in the philosophy of consistency.

People will constantly show themselves in the most favorable light imaginable. Most individuals frequently wonder what others will think of them when they do, say, or refrain from doing anything. The same holds true in the corporate sphere. Consider a company’s marketing efforts as an example.

Salespeople will showcase their product or service in the most favorable light possible. In reality, it is their responsibility to control public and potential consumer perceptions in order to maximize results. A more common example is a boy who purchases bright new football shoes since scouts will be attending the game.

Impression Management theory

Erving Goffman originally conceived of Impression Management in 1959. The initial publication of the piece was in “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.” In 1967, the concept was extended.

The development of research into Impression Management followed two distinct paths. One of these was directed at aspects that impact the perceptions that individuals wish to express. The alternative route results in eleven distinct presenting views.

This includes compliance, violence, leadership, stigmatization, and mental and physical health. This article addresses each of the eleven approaches for self-presentation.

What is Impression Management?

Impression Management Techniques

Impression management refers to individuals’ efforts to control and affect the perceptions of others. There are about seven approaches for Impression Management. All of these methods are utilized in daily life. At the office, at home, and on other occasions.

1. Conformity

Conformity is being accepted and is meant to allow others to appreciate the environment or the people in the environment. When corporations bring employees together to collaborate, they adopt this strategy to guarantee that the employees feel accepted and comfortable.

2. Excuses

The second Impression Management approach addresses excuses. In general, an excuse is a person’s justification for a poor or unsatisfactory action. This justification is used to prevent a harsh penalty or judgment. Excuses are commonly given. When being late for a meeting or receiving a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

3. Acclaim

Acclaim is the act of greeting the audience with pride since one knows he or she has performed an excellent job. Someone does this action with a sense of superiority.

This might apply to a member of a project team who is commended by the project manager for an excellent concept or effort in the business sector. This motivates colleagues to work harder and better.

4. Flattery

The act of lavishing someone with compliments to make them look insightful and likable. Flattery is an aggressive social tactic for manipulating the perceptions of others in order to gain social desirability.

This is achieved by the use of flattering, praising, and complimentary language. This impression method is very prevalent in the field of internet marketing.

5. Self-promotion

Self-promotion is emphasizing one’s finest qualities and downplaying one’s weaknesses. This brings emphasis to the individual’s accomplishments. This occurrence is very prevalent in the corporate sector.

An example of this is a salesperson who informs his supervisor that it took colleague x three years to complete as many sales transactions as he did in six weeks.

6. Favours

In both business and everyday life, favors are another prevalent tactic. Favors include doing something kind for others in order to gain their acceptance and approval.

A seller of expensive automobiles, for instance, may offer his customer theater tickets he cannot use himself.

7. Association

Association is concerned with enhancing or defending one’s image by controlling information about one’s associations with people and things.

As an example, a candidate may tell the interviewer, “That’s such a coincidence, your boss and I were college roommates.” Association also entails partnering with others to strengthen and defend each other in terms of the knowledge and reputation of the individuals involved.

Impression Management and job interviews

Individuals from a collectivist society (according to Geert Hofstede’s dimensions) score higher on the Impression Management test. In addition, higher Impression Management scores are more common on selection evaluations than on development assessments.

The similar impact occurs when an individual obtains a new job. In this circumstance, he or she tends to build a more favorable picture of themselves than while searching for self-improvement opportunities.

What is Impression Management?

When applying for a commercial employment, a high score is frequently associated with the individual. That looks reasonable. According to psychologist Jan Meijning, the primary purpose of such a meeting is to sell oneself.

Self-deception and Impression Management

Self-deception is the denial or rationalization of the relevance, significance, or meaning of evidence and logical reasoning. Self-deception requires individuals to convince themselves of a truth in order to conceal their awareness of the falsehood.

What is Impression Management?

Everyone engages in some degree of self-deception. However, too much of it is harmful. Just attempt to convince someone who believes they are listening that they are not listening. It is hard to convince someone of their inflated self-perception in a short amount of time if they are unaware of their inflated self-perception.

Therefore, avoid attempting this during a job interview. When this occurs, the topic will likely devolve into a yes-or-no discussion. A person with an inflated self-perception will even refute test findings. Instead, it requests the candidate’s strengths, with examples.

How do you practice Impression Management

1. Know yourself

Self-awareness is one of the most crucial aspects of effective Impression Management and genuineness. Goffman, a sociologist, established a dramaturgical theory in which he asserted that humans are essentially a collection of the numerous roles we take.

However, having a feeling of self-worth is essential. Who are we? What do I value? What do I believe? It is essential to have a strong sense of self-worth to avoid being a chameleon who conforms to everything and everyone around them. It is not essential to always follow the crowd.

2. Be mindful

When connecting with people, our brain functions at maximum capacity. In social interactions, it is essential to be great listeners and to comprehend the perspectives of others. Many connections are created between different brain regions for this function.

People should consider the repercussions of their words and deeds, even if this frequently occurs unconsciously. Self-disclosure is essential to developing connections with others.

However, we should be cautious not to divulge too much information too early and should constantly consider how others may react to this knowledge.

3. Manage emotions

Nothing generates a poor impression more quickly than an improper and abrupt expression of emotion. Emotions are essential for interacting with people, and expressing them gives equilibrium to the brain, but they must be managed and tempered. Negative emotions, like wrath, impatience, and even contempt, must always be portrayed with care and strategy.

It is vital for executives in large organizations, for example, to retain emotional restraint while quietly communicating their satisfaction or displeasure.

4. Remember etiquette rules

A collection of social rules, often known as norms, instructs individuals on how to act in certain social settings. It is crucial to adhere to and respect these social conventions in order to establish and keep a favorable impression.

What is Impression Management?

In addition, it is essential to demonstrate that we have decent manners and know how to act in various, potentially stressful situations.

Few individuals disapprove of or have bad connotations with politeness, thus it is always a smart technique for impression management to be nice.

5. Be self-confident

It is tough to develop self-confidence if you lack it, but there are social situations that need guts and decisiveness. Consider a circumstance in which you are required to communicate with people. Take the initiative and ask a decent inquiry or assist someone without thinking.

Additionally, it is essential to defend one’s values or views. It is crucial to persuade others of your visions if you hold a position of leadership. Most people will respect your commitment to a certain set of beliefs or ideals. Nonetheless, be realistic.

When someone presents an argument that disproves your conviction or way of work, you should modify them.

6. Be positive

When making impressions, there is much to gain from examining the significance and use of positive thinking and positive affection. A smile, a praise, and pleasant energy are always preferable to a hostile and tense environment. Positive CEOs will have an easier time persuading employees and will be perceived as more successful.

Effective self-image management is not always straightforward. As with the majority of social skills, this too should be practiced often in order to enhance one’s self-impression control.


Impression management is the deliberate or unconscious attempt to affect others’ impressions of a person, item, or event through the regulation and control of information in social interaction.

Generally, people engage in impression management to accomplish objectives that demand a particular public image. This is referred to as self-presentation.

Sociology and social psychology define self-presentation as the conscious or unconscious process by which individuals attempt to influence the impressions others create of them.

The objective is to show oneself as they would like to be perceived by the people or group with whom they are interacting. This management style focuses mostly on the initial impression.

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