Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Anamarija Kuran 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

Hi, my name is Anamarija Kuran. I am an Applied Psychology student at IADT, specialising in the technology path. I have enjoyed the various modules and the projects the course offers, allowing me to developed and enhance crucial practical skills. Throughout my time studying at IADT I have participated in volunteering, Enactus project, Ntutorr project and HCI research related to CyberSafe website. I have developed keen interest in educational psychology and positive psychology, including integrative approach to mental health. In the future I hope to pursue masters degree relating to my areas of interest.

Project Description

The origin of the word “authentic” can be traced to the Greek word “authenteo”, meaning “to have full power”. Authenticity has been positively related to enhanced well-being, life satisfaction, and metacognition. Trait authenticity represents the enduring characteristic of being your true self in your everyday endeavours, irrespective of the influences compelling you to act otherwise. Self-esteem is one of the personality factors that influence trait authenticity. Previous literature indicated that participants with higher self-esteem results reported higher authenticity, whilst those who attained low self-esteem results reported lower authenticity. Furthermore, one of the societal factors that influence trait authenticity is cultural orientation, namely the individualism-collectivism dimension. Whilst some studies report individualistic countries display higher authenticity, recent findings suggest otherwise. However, there has been a limited number of studies looking into self-esteem and individual’s individualism/collectivism dimensions as factors influencing authenticity.

Project Objectives

The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of self-esteem, and cultural orientation on trait authenticity. There has been a limited number of studies looking into self-esteem and individual’s individualism/collectivism dimensions as factors influencing authenticity. The present study hoped to contribute to the literature by filling this gap. Furthermore, previous studies applied authenticity measurements which might be underpowered. The present study hope to contribute to literature by implementing new trait authenticity scale.
The study employed quantitative, between-subjects design. The final sample consisted of 138 participants (63.7% female), aged 18 to 56 (M = 25.5, SD = 8.28). Three online questionnaires were employed in the study. COS (Bierbauer, 1994) was implemented as a measurement of individual I/C dimensions. Furthermore, COS (Bierbauer, 1994) has been validated on European samples, which were mostly recruited within the present study, as opposed to previous research. Furthermore, a new authenticity measurement, the ‘SAS’ (Kelley et al., 2022), was utilised to assess trait authenticity, as suggested by Cartwright et al. (2023). Self-esteem was assessed with Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale.

Project Outcomes

Quantitative analysis showed there was a significant difference between the authenticity scores of the high self-esteem group compared to the low, and medium self-esteem groups. This finding supports the previous literature (Nartova-Bochaver et al., 2021) by indicating that higher self-esteem scores lead to higher authenticity scores.

However, there was no significant difference between participants’ authenticity scores based on their cultural orientation (I/C). This finding contradicts some previous research, but contributes to the recent research (Kelley et al., 2022) which suggested there is no difference for individuals in trait authenticity levels based on their cultural orientation (I/C) when trait authenticity is assessed with SAS, a novel authenticity measurement. Furthermore, present findings further emphasise the notion that individual I/C dimensions should be considered, independent of the individual’s country. Thus, as low authenticity can lead to maladaptive behaviours in adolescents (Alchin et al., 2023), therapeutic interventions in educational institutions to support the development of healthy high self-esteem and enhancement of trait authenticity, could benefit countries globally, regardless of their cultural dimension.

Thesis Title

Authenticity: Influences of Self-Esteem, and Cultural Orientation