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Developing authenticity: A quasi-experimental investigation

Kipfelsberger, Petra and Braun, Susanne and Fladerer, Martin P. and Dragoni, Lisa (2022) 'Developing authenticity: A quasi-experimental investigation.', Personality and Individual Differences, 198 . p. 111825.


Authenticity facilitates positive human functioning. Yet, previous research has not adequately addressed whether different dimensions of authenticity develop naturally as one ages or whether their development can be facilitated through systematic interventions. These issues must be addressed to better understand the dimensionality of authenticity and its change over time. We conducted a quasi-experimental intervention study with 170 first-year business students (58 treatment and 112 control group participants) at a university in Switzerland over an eight-month period—a critical time when authenticity should naturally develop given young adults’ move from their family of origin. A career and personal development program exhibited differential effects on three dimensions of authenticity: (1) authentic living increased only for those in the treatment group, (2) acceptance of external influence decreased in both groups, but with a stronger effect in the treatment group, and (3) no significant changes occurred in either group’s self-alienation. These findings suggest that some authenticity dimensions may be more receptive to natural growth, whereas others require systematic interventions or may be notoriously hard to change. The results contribute to the theoretical understanding of authenticity and provide practical insights into its development.

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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Date accepted:14 July 2022
Date deposited:14 July 2022
Date of first online publication:24 July 2022
Date first made open access:17 August 2022

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