Introduction to the Special Issue: Authenticity: Novel Insights Into a Valued, Yet Elusive, Concept Academic Article uri icon


  • © American Psychological Association 2019. Authenticity is generally believed to play an important role in our daily lives. Empirical research thus far has made progress in understanding the nature of this important construct. We identify four broad conclusions about authenticity based on this research: (a) People value authenticity in their own behavior and other domains (e.g., life experiences, consumer products), (b) Self-reports of personal authenticity are linked to psychological well-being, (c) People generally believe authentic, or “true,” selves are morally good, and (d) Authenticity judgments are guided by cognitive tendencies related to psychological essentialism. Despite this progress, many basic questions about authenticity remain unresolved including (a) What is the best way to define the construct? (b) Why do people care so much about whether something or someone is authentic? and (c) Why is personal authenticity so strongly related to psychological well-being? This special issue presents articles aimed to shed light on some of these basic questions. Although each of the articles offers a unique perspective to understanding authenticity, these collections of articles provide a generative framework to help researchers continue to explore this elusive construct.

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Hicks, J. A., Schlegel, R. J., & Newman, G. E.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • March 2019