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Working paper

Variety Of Possible Selves: The Role Of Agency And Empirical Evidence Review

Grishutina M., Kostenko V.
The development of possible self theory led to the introduction of new types of construct. However, the types are inconsistent with the original definition by Markus and Nurius (1986). Authors tend not to consider the phenomenon of agency, playing a crucial role in the motivational function of possible self. Thus, now in the literature, we have non-systemized concepts of various types of possible self. The article’s primary aim is to analyze existing types of possible selves through the lens of agentic energy, and to unify the construct’s understanding. We consider most frequent types of possible self, such as hoped-for possible self, feared possible self, best possible self, self-regulatory and self-enhancing possible self, lost possible self, shared possible self, and impossible self. Creating the systematic view is essential for the future of the theory as there are already some misconceptions that come from the liberal interpretation of the originally strong construct. We propose a solution in the form of traditional literature review with the result of definitions reconsidered depending on the role of agentic energy in the process of possible self producing. The expected outcome of the framework is to set a unified direction for further discoveries.