Managing impressions: Children’s understanding of performance and dispositional disclaimers as self

Project: Research

Project Details


Negotiating everyday social interactions requires a variety of social skills, such as the ability to reflect on the thoughts, feelings, and expectations of others. This research investigates developmental trends in children’s understanding of how disclaimers (a self-presentational tactic) can be used to manage the impressions others may have of the self. Anticipation of poor behaviour on an imminent task may result in the use of a disclaimer – verbal statement used to protect oneself from negative social evaluation by dissociating the poor behaviour from their identity. Eleven-year-olds recognise the mitigating function of a disclaimer (e.g., to avoid punishment; Bennett, 1990), and are more positive about future behaviour performance when a disclaimer is used (Watling & Banerjee, in press). Yet, little is known about children’s understanding of the self-presentational function of disclaimers (i.e., to avoid today’s behaviour from influencing an audience’s beliefs about the individual). This research will explore how 8- to 14-year-olds understand disclaimers, including those that are related to their performance (ability) and to dispositions (personality).
Effective start/end date1/03/1129/02/12


  • British Academy: £7,354.00