Authentic is what it is, what authenticity means

Authenticity is something that reflects the degree to which our true self operates on an ongoing basis. Psychologists characterize this concept as a variety of interrelated processes that have important consequences for psychological functioning and comfort. Authenticity is expressed through the dynamic operation of four components: awareness, objective processing, behavior and interpersonal orientation. Each of these components is associated with different aspects of healthy psychological and social adjustment.

However, what does it mean to be authentic? To understand this, you first need to understand what authenticity consists of in general. Therefore, it is very important to talk about its components.

Authenticity - the meaning of the word in general understanding

The concept, which carries a slight flair of mystery and mystery, comes from the Greek language. Translated into Russian, αὐθεντικός means “genuine”, “real”. The synonym dictionary offers additional “touches to the portrait” that make this word easier to understand:

  1. true;
  2. authentic;
  3. equivalent;
  4. valid;
  5. reliable.

Authentic is a characteristic that means that the object in question is real, genuine, not counterfeit.

Concepts that are opposite in meaning - fake, not real, counterfeit, not the original, but a copy. In a word, fake is another fashionable word translated from English as “fake”.

Given the widespread prevalence of cheap fakes (competitions for the title of the most authentic copy of branded companies have already become commonplace), purchasing a real, genuine item is a great success.

Therefore, in the modern interpretation, “authentic” also means “high-quality”.

Sometimes you can hear the pronunciation "authentic" or "authentic". These designations are equivalent. But the similar-sounding concept “autistic” is taken from “another opera”; it is associated with a disorder of the development of the nervous system in children - autism.

But don’t rush to conclude that authenticity is very simple. In fact, this term is used in dozens of fields from psychology to law, and each time its meaning will be interpreted differently.

For example, the authenticity of a person’s behavior is how different his behavior is “in public” and when no one is looking at him. This word also denotes the authenticity of the products. Authentication on sites means verifying the authenticity of your identity. And so on.

But don't worry, we'll figure it all out in no time.


Summarizing all of the above, we would like to add that in life we ​​need to strive for authenticity, but this can be difficult. Often we begin to behave not the way we want, but the way circumstances or (even worse) other people require. But you should know that such behavior, coupled with pretense, is primarily a variety of defensive strategies.

Many of us turn to advocacy because being truly authentic is difficult in a world where we are often molded to fit certain standards.

Try to be determined and courageous to resist pressure, because understanding your own Self and authenticity will allow your talents and ideas to be embodied and revealed, will allow you to better know yourself and understand the meaning of your life, and this will give a true sense of satisfaction and comfort.

Good luck!

What can be authentic

This is what they say about any genuine, original product. For example, an African amulet, Rostov enamel, Chanel No. 5 perfume, Russian buckwheat, an Uzbek carpet, or Nike sneakers can be authentic.

Travel lovers are familiar with the expression “authentic cuisine”. This refers to national dishes that embody the culinary preferences of the country's inhabitants (Spanish paella, Israeli falafel, Mexican tortilla).

The word authenticity is often used when talking about documents. This term is common in international law in relation to contracts in two or more languages.

The text may initially have been compiled in one of them, but all other versions are considered genuine, having equal validity, in other words, authentic.

From the lips of musicians you can hear the phrase “authentic performance”. This is said when ancient works are reproduced on instruments of the corresponding era in a special manner in order to bring to us the music in the form in which Bach or Beethoven created it.

The pioneer in this direction was the Briton Arnold Dolmech, who reconstructed ancient musical instruments and created a work on the principles of performing ancient music.

In literature, the term authenticity is applied to author’s texts that have not been edited. Most often we are talking about personal correspondence, diaries, and manuscripts.

There are cases where authenticity is not the same as authenticity - for example, in modern art. Here, such quality can be attributed to a copy that fully conveys the author's style and idea - everything is like in the original source.

The relationship between the components of authenticity

The various components of authenticity often play one common role and are in harmony with each other. However, there are cases when only some of them are valid. For example, when we respond to environmental contingencies and behave in accordance with social norms, which in turn are at odds with our true self. But authenticity still operates at the level of awareness and information processing.

In some cases, it may not operate at these levels. For example, when a person tries to rationalize his behavior by distorting the consequences (biased processing). Or when he behaves thoughtlessly, without addressing his true desires (ignorance).

These considerations suggest that, rather than focusing solely on whether actions are authentic, it is useful to focus on understanding the processes that determine behavior selection. Social psychologists have not yet explored these complex issues in their research, but for now it is useful to note that although the components are interrelated, they are distinct from each other.

Authentication is a test of authenticity

Authentication is a term closely related to the word “authenticity” that is heard by all Internet users today. Initially, this was the name for any authentication procedure.

Moreover, authentication existed long before the advent of digital technologies: clever passwords existed in ancient times. A striking example of this is the speech code “Sim-Sim, open”, with the help of which Ali Baba opened the entrance to the cave with treasures.

Today, authentication is associated with verifying the identity of a user who proves that he is who he says he is by entering a special password.

This action is often confused with authorization (granting someone certain rights, for example, access to an information resource). Authorization is not authentication, but rather its result.

but on the other hand

On the other hand, it can be difficult to deal with an uncompromising person, because he will not give in, will not adjust, and will not compromise his principles. Therefore, in the sphere of interpersonal relationships, he (and with him) often have problems.

Among people who strive to live authentically, there are many representatives of withdrawn-profound (autistic or schizoid) characters. Such a person is often lonely, sometimes he has one faithful friend, whose friendship he values ​​very much.

In humanistic psychotherapy and in Gestalt therapy, great importance is attached to the person’s movement towards authenticity. Various techniques and exercises have been developed to assist this process.

Authentic person

The concept of “authenticity” is actively used in psychology. Here it means a person’s ability to adequately express his true feelings in the process of communicating with others (to abandon various social roles).

As a personal characteristic, authenticity is the ability to be yourself in different situations, guided by your ideas about life and bearing responsibility for this choice. This is the antonym for the word hypocrisy.

Alone with themselves, when there is no one to impress and conquer, people tend to behave authentically. In the presence of others, behavior can change greatly. Authenticity is characteristic of young children - until adults teach them to behave differently.

The smaller the difference between a person’s behavior alone and “in public,” the more authentic he is.

Signs of an authentic person:

  1. realistic perception of yourself and others;
  2. open expression of one's emotions and opinions, even those that differ from the majority.
  3. absence of statements and actions that contradict life guidelines;
  4. self-sufficiency, lack of discomfort when being alone (introversion);
  5. indifference to gossip and unfounded rumors, lack of resentment for criticism from other people and a tendency to condemn the actions of others.

From a psychological point of view, words close in meaning to the word “authentic” are the concepts of “sincere”, “open”, “honest”. These qualities manifest themselves not only in relation to other people, but also towards oneself.

Components of Authenticity

Authenticity includes four components: awareness, objective processing of information, behavior, and orientation to loved ones. Let's consider them separately.


The awareness component refers to being aware of one's motives, feelings, desires, values, strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics. Moreover, it is associated with the motivation to understand their role in behavior. When a person recognizes these facets in himself, he becomes more aware of both "form" and "ground". In other words, we are not exclusively extroverts or introverts, dominant or submissive, and so on. Rather, although one of the facets of these dimensions predominates, both of them exist in us. We begin to realize that we have diverse elements of personality, and we try to use this knowledge in our relationships with the outside world and others.

Objective assessment of information

The second component is objective information processing. It involves an unbiased personal assessment and acceptance of both the positive and negative aspects of one's personality. Some people have great difficulty accepting the limitations of their skills in a particular activity. Instead of accepting their bad results, they try to rationalize their consequences, downplay their significance, or completely fabricate a new and better result. Others find it difficult to recognize the positive aspects of themselves or their abilities and interpret their success solely as a result of luck. Such individuals exhibit biases in the processing of self-esteem that reflect a relative lack of credibility.


The third component of authenticity is behavior: whether a person acts in accordance with his true self or not. Authentic behavior means acting in accordance with your values, preferences and needs, and not simply to please others, meet someone else's expectations or meet social norms. Similarly, behavioral validity is limited when people behave falsely to gain rewards or avoid punishments.

The difference between a valid and a false action is sometimes difficult to see. For example, there are situations in which unremitting expression of one's true self can lead to severe punishments and reactions. In such cases, the person should be aware of the potential adverse consequences of their behavior and decide whether to act in that way or not. The important point is that authentic actions do not reflect a desire to be oneself, but rather a choice to express one's true feelings, motives and inclinations.

Focus on loved ones

The fourth component is a person’s orientation towards loved ones . The degree to which we achieve openness and truthfulness in our close relationships. Authenticity means that we value the people we care about who see us for who we are (both the good and bad sides of us). This ability and motivation to express one's true self involves self-disclosure and participation, which promotes the development of mutual intimacy and trust.

In art

In this area, authenticity is a concept that speaks of the reliability of the transmission, the authenticity of the presented sample. In some cases, it is used to determine the originality of the work. Its opposite in this context is plagiarism.

In literature, authentic texts are understood as author’s texts that have not been affected by edits or editorial changes. Often this concept is applied to diaries, personal correspondence, and manuscripts of specific authors. In painting, this is the author's style, special presentation and technique. Music refers to a particular manner of performance and the use of certain instruments.

( 2 ratings, average 4.5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]