Does name-dropping work?

Prior research on impression management has focused more on the kinds of tactics that people use to be perceived by others as likeable and competent than on the effects. Do these tactics actually affect the way others see us? Name-dropping is an indirect self-presentational tactic that asserts social closeness between a person who employs the tactic and the individual who is mentioned. In our study an individual mentioned his or her association with tennis champion Roger Federer during a get-acquainted conversation. The individual was liked less and perceived as less competent when s/he associated her/himself closely with Roger Federer, and was not perceived as more sporty. Perceived manipulativeness mediated the negative effects of name-dropping on first impressions.

Source: “Are we known by the company we keep? Effects of name-dropping on first impressions” from Social Influence, Volume 4, Issue 1 January 2009 , pages 62 – 79

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