Authenticity Scale

Test scores

Authentic Living
Accepting External Influence


In the person-centered conception, authenticity is a tripartite construct defined by Barrett-Lennard (1998) as involving consistency between the three levels of (a) a person's primary experience, (b) their symbolized awareness, and (c) their outward behavior and communication.

The first aspect of authenticity involves the inevitable mismatch between the conscious awareness and actual experience. Perfect congruence between these aspects of experience is never possible, and the extent to which the person experiences self-alienation between conscious awareness and actual experience (the true self) composes the first aspect of authenticity. The subjective experience of not knowing oneself, or feeling out of touch with the true self, is indicative of this aspect of authenticity.

The second aspect of authenticity involves the congruence between experience as consciously perceived and behavior. Authentic living involves behaving and expressing emotions in such a way that is consistent with the conscious awareness of physiological states, emotions, beliefs, and cognitions. In other words, authentic living involves being true to oneself in most situations and living in accordance with one's values and beliefs.

The third aspect of authenticity involves the extent to which one accepts the influence of other people and the belief that one has to conform to the expectations of others. Humans are fundamentally social beings, and both self-alienation and authentic living are affected by the social environment. Introjecting the views of others and accepting external influence affects both feelings of self-alienation and the experience of authentic living.

Taken together, self-alienation, authentic living, and accepting external influence compose the tripartite person-centered view of authenticity.

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