Self-lines: A new, psychometrically sound, 'user-friendly' idiographic technique for assessing self-discrepancies

Jillian Joy Francis, Jennifer M. Boldero, Natalie L. Sambell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Self-discrepancy theory [E. T. Higgins, 1987] proposes that discrepancies between self and 'ideal' standards are associated with dejection-related emotions, whereas discrepancies between self and 'ought' standards are associated with agitation-related emotions. Although there is substantial evidence to support the ideal/ought distinction, the traditional method used to measure self-discrepancies contains some theoretical and conceptual limitations. This paper discusses these limitations, presents a critique of other methods of measuring self-discrepancies and suggests a new measurement technique, the Self-Lines measure. This new approach is consistent with the theoretical underpinning of self-discrepancy theory. A pilot study suggests that this approach is feasible and two comparative studies demonstrate the validity and advantages of the Self-Lines measure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-84
Number of pages16
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • self-discrepancy
  • idiographic measurement
  • assessment
  • self
  • emotion
  • regulatory focus
  • goal attainment
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • model

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