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Positive Self-Statements: Power for Some, Peril for Others

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Abstract

Positive self-statements are widely believed to boost mood and self-esteem, yet their effectiveness has not been demonstrated. We examined the contrary prediction that positive self-statements can be ineffective or even harmful. A survey study confirmed that people often use positive self-statements and believe them to be effective. Two experiments showed that among participants with low self-esteem, those who repeated a positive self-statement ("I'm a lovable person") or who focused on how that statement was true felt worse than those who did not repeat the statement or who focused on how it was both true and not true. Among participants with high self-esteem, those who repeated the statement or focused on how it was true felt better than those who did not, but to a limited degree. Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, but backfire for the very people who "need" them the most.

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... For example, a person may experience better mood after reading positive statements from non-EB self-help material, but only if he or she already has high self-regard (e.g. Wood et al., 2009;Yeung & Lun, 2016). However, without proper understanding of the boundary conditions for non-EB self-help materials to work, users may instead be risking their well-being when trying to improve their mood. ...
... Usage of positive self-statements. Adapted from Wood and colleagues' study (Wood et al., 2009), three questions for each of the 10 positive self-statements were used to examine participants' usage of such items: 'I have used this kind of statements,' (use: 1 = never; 8 = almost daily); 'This statement is helpful for me,' (helpfulness: 1 = strongly disagree; 8 = strongly agree); and 'This statement makes me feel worse or better,' (feeling: 1 = worse; 8 = better). The total score of these 30 items was calculated to represent one's overall usage of positive self-statements (α = .95). ...
... Previous studies showed that non-EB self-help materials could help to improve an individual's mood under certain boundary conditions (e.g. Wood et al., 2009;Yeung & Lun, 2016). We propose that without being alerted to the limits of these self-help tools may increase users' perceived controllability in achieving positive outcomes as portrayed by these self-help materials, which may in turn result in stronger victim-blaming on depressed people. ...
Article
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Popular self-help materials claim that reading and internalizing positive self-statements promotes well-being. Four studies were conducted to examine how these materials may instead heighten individuals' tendency to lay blame on those who suffer from depression. Study 1 showed positive correlation between usage of positive self-statement and victim-blaming tendency. In Study 2, participants who were only told about the benefits of positive self-statements showed more victim-blaming than those who were informed about their mixed effects. Study 3 revealed that participants who read non-evidence-based positive self-statements tended to show higher victim-blaming than those who read other statements, and the statistical significance of this effect was verified in the better-powered replication Study 4. These findings showed that uncritical use of non-evidence-based self-help materials has small but robust effect on inducing victim-blaming, r = .17, 95% CI [.11, .23]. Detailing the conditional effects of these materials to users may alleviate this negative impact.
... To examine the effects of positive self-talk on stress and performance, the participants in the Positive Self-Talk condition were asked to rehearse a specific positive self-statement aloud before the TSST and to focus on the statement during the tasks. Previous research has reported that the use of a single statement or a list of positive statements helps participants decrease negative moods and increase selfesteem (Oei & Barber, 1989;Philpot & Bamburg, 1996;Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009). ...
... Positive statements used in the previous studies were chosen from a self-help book that was related to self-esteem (Wood et al., 2009) or from mood-related items in the Automatic Thought Questionnaire-Revised (Philpot & Bamburg, 1996). Because the present study included a speech task to induce stress, the author chose positive selfstatements from the SSPS (Hofmann & DiBartolo, 2000) as it contains statements related to public speaking. ...
... Other variables may have also contributed to the non-significant findings of the present study. For example, Wood et al. (2009) examined the role of self-esteem in positive self-talk and found that positive self-talk improved mood only among those who had high self-esteem. Participants who had low self-esteem and rehearsed positive selftalk showed worsened moods. ...
Thesis
Self-talk is a psychological and cognitive product of humans that correlates with stress-related variables, such as anxiety and depression. The immediate effects of positive self-talk on stress (in terms of cortisol reactivity) and speech performance have yet to be investigated. Thus, the author examined the immediate effects of positive self-talk on stress and speech performance. The roles of dispositional and speech-related inner self-talk were also investigated. One hundred and forty participants were assigned to Control, Stress Alone, Positive Self-Talk, or Distraction conditions. A standardized stress-inducing task was used for the experimental groups. Participants in the Positive Self-Talk condition rehearsed a positive self-statement during the experiment, and a distraction task was completed by those in the Distraction condition. Saliva samples were collected for cortisol analysis, and questionnaires were administered to assess participant perceived stress levels and inner self-talk. Immediate effects of positive self-talk on cortisol reactivity, perceived stress, and speech performance were absent. Nevertheless, speech-related positive inner self-talk was inversely correlated with the perceived stress level. Furthermore, negative inner self-talk was also related to cortisol reactivity, perceived stress, and speech performance.
... Objectives: Previous research has established a differential effect of positive affirmations, whereby they may be helpful for individuals with high trait self-esteem and possibly iatrogenic for individuals with low self-esteem (Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009). The current studies are replications of Wood et al. (2009) study. ...
... Findings from Study 2, again, yielded a failure to replicate, as there were no differences between conditions on mood, state self-esteem, self-reported level of goal challenge, and goal completion. Conclusions: State self-esteem did not moderate the effect of a positive affirmation intervention, failing to replicate the findings of Wood et al. (2009). Implications regarding the failure to replicate the original study are discussed. ...
... The findings from Wood et al. (2009) study have been cited over 200 times. Their results have been also used to support theories within the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model regarding principles of change. ...
Article
Objectives Previous research has established a differential effect of positive affirmations, whereby they may be helpful for individuals with high trait self-esteem and possibly iatrogenic for individuals with low self-esteem (Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009). The current studies are replications of Wood et al. (2009) study. The aim of Study 1 was to replicate this study by examining the efficacy of a positive affirmation intervention on mood and state self-esteem and to see if trait self-esteem made the intervention more or less efficacious. The aim of Study 2 was to attempt to conceptually replicate and extend the original study by examining the efficacy of positive affirmation and values writing interventions on mood, self-esteem, and goal completion. We also examined whether trait self-esteem and psychological inflexibility moderated the relationship between condition and outcome variables. Design For Study 1, participants were randomly assigned to either the positive affirmation or no statement condition. Outcome measures were completed immediately following the intervention. For Study 2, participants randomly assigned to the positive affirmations or values writing intervention. Outcome measures were completed immediately following the intervention and at a three-day follow-up. Setting Participants completed this analogue study in a university setting. Participants Approximately 225 individuals participated in Study 1 and 237 in Study 2. Main outcome measures The main outcome measures of Study 1 were state self-esteem and mood measures. The outcome measures for Study 2 were state self-esteem, mood, goal competition, and challenge of self-reported goal. Results Results from Study 1 revealed a failure to replicate as there were no difference between conditions on all outcome variables and trait-self esteem did not interact with condition to predict any of the outcome variables. Findings from Study 2, again, yielded a failure to replicate, as there were no differences between conditions on mood, state self-esteem, self-reported level of goal challenge, and goal completion. Conclusions State self-esteem did not moderate the effect of a positive affirmation intervention, failing to replicate the findings of Wood et al. (2009). Implications regarding the failure to replicate the original study are discussed.
... The most common style, positive coping self-statements or self-instructions, involves the use of self-statements to direct or self-regulate behavior or solve problems. Although they are widely believed to boost mood and self-esteem, their effectiveness is discussed heterogeneously [44]. Our data indicate that positive self-statements are moderately associated with a better physical functioning, better role functioning/emotional, and better energy according to the SF-36. ...
... Should this observation be confirmed in larger studies, however, this would be dramatic because experiencing pain, as was previously shown, is more common with age and in higher disease stages [45][46][47]. Conversely, several studies showed that older patients, more often than young adults and middle adulthood, declared that they cope with pain in a more active manner [44,48]. Thus, for future studies, at this point elucidating whether behavioral strategies are actually used less frequently by older patients would be interesting, and if so, where do the obstacles lie. ...
Article
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Objective To develop multidimensional approaches for pain management, this study aimed to understand how PD patients cope with pain. Design Cross-sectional, cohort study. Setting Monocentric, inpatient, university hospital. Participants 52 patients with Parkinson’s disease (without dementia) analysed. Primary and secondary outcome measures Motor function, nonmotor symptoms, health-related quality of life (QoL), and the Coping Strategies Questionnaire were assessed. Elastic net regularization and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were used to study the association among coping, clinical parameters, and QoL. Results Most patients cope with pain through active cognitive (coping self-statements) and active behavioral strategies (increasing pain behaviors and increasing activity level). Active coping was associated with lower pain rating. Regarding QoL domains, active coping was associated with better physical functioning and better energy, whereas passive coping was associated with poorer emotional well-being. However, as demonstrated by MANOVA, the impact of coping factors (active and passive) on the Short Form 36 domains was negligible after correction for age, motor function, and depression. Conclusion Passive coping strategies are the most likely coping response of those with depressive symptoms, whereas active coping strategies are the most likely coping response to influence physical function. Although coping is associated with pain rating, the extent that pain coping responses can impact on QoL seems to be low.
... However, Wood, Perunovic, and Lee (2009) have criticized the effectiveness of such interventions. In their experiment, for participants with low self-concepts, repeating value self-affirmations (e.g. ...
... "I am a lovable person," p. 861) was counterproductive and actually resulted in lower self-esteem, as the affirmation did not align with the participants' low self-perceptions. In considering growth mindset theory, the results of the research by Wood et al. (2009) is not surprising, as the statement, "I am a lovable person" (p. 861) refers to an inherent personality characteristic, and reinforces a fixed mindset. ...
Article
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Math anxiety is a debilitating problem that affects many community college students. Neuropsychological research suggests that negative rumination when anticipating math situations substantially exhausts working memory load, contributes to execution anxiety, which interferes with learning and performance. Studies have shown that improving the psychological experience in the classroom could have a positive impact on students’ academic achievement. However, there is little to no research employing interventions designed to specifically address anticipation and execution math anxiety in community college students. The current research investigated the effect of embedding a combined mindfulness and growth mindset intervention within a required first-year, two-semester developmental statistics course. Results from this mixed methods pilot study indicate that this new combined approach not only reduced math anxiety, but had also increased math self-efficacy in a sample of college students. Replication of the research is warranted in order to substantiate the preliminary results.
... For example, Wood, Perunovic, and Lee (2009) demonstrated that for college students with pre-existing low self-esteem, repeating the affirmation "I'm a lovable person" decreased mood and state self-esteem. Results of a thought-listing task in Wood et al. (2009) showed that participants with high selfesteem tended to write thoughts that affirmed their lovability, whereas those with low self-esteem wrote relatively equal numbers of statements that affirmed and disaffirmed their lovability. ...
... For example, Wood, Perunovic, and Lee (2009) demonstrated that for college students with pre-existing low self-esteem, repeating the affirmation "I'm a lovable person" decreased mood and state self-esteem. Results of a thought-listing task in Wood et al. (2009) showed that participants with high selfesteem tended to write thoughts that affirmed their lovability, whereas those with low self-esteem wrote relatively equal numbers of statements that affirmed and disaffirmed their lovability. Similarly, a different study of university students (Yeung & Lun, 2016) found that, among participants with low levels of need satisfaction (an alternative measure of low self-regard), listening to positive self-statements (e.g., Life is so good!) increased negative mood. ...
Article
Introduction: Messages encouraging women to love their bodies are common elements of positive body image movements, but there are theoretical reasons to suspect that such messages may backfire. Methods: In a sample of 293 college women, we tested the impact of mentally repeating the affirmation “I love my body” on body satisfaction. We prompted participants to think either “I love my body” (affirmation condition) or “I am [age] years old” (control condition) while they completed a five-minute writing task. Results: Relative to the control, the affirmation condition led to significantly lower body satisfaction. Additionally, 53% of affirmation condition participants counterargued the body affirmation by writing something negative about their appearance; only 6% in the control condition wrote a negative appearance comment. Discussion: Results suggest that some messages intended to promote positive body image have the potential to decrease women's body satisfaction, in part because they prompt women to think of flaws in their appearance.
... Hence, it is crucial to develop effective methods improving self-esteem in order to build an emotional reserve, thereby reducing the hazard of the onset of depressive disorder. Psychological intervention often uses positive self-statements, which are widely believed to be a universal tool for enhancing mood and self-esteem [3][4][5]. Positive self-statements are sentences that draw attention to the positive aspects of oneself. Their goal is to improve self-esteem through the repetition of positive sentences. ...
... Recently, self-esteem has been explored as a potential mediator [3] and moderator [4,5] of the effectiveness of positive self-statements as interventions for change in health behaviors and mood enhancement. It has been suggested that repeating positive self-statements may be beneficial for people with high self-esteem but has no effect or even a negative one for those with low self-esteem levels [4]. ...
Article
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1) Background: Affirmative statements are widely recognized as a reliable tool that enhances personal resources to manage life demands, including stress-coping and emotional adaptability. However, recent data suggest that contrary effects can be obtained regarding the global self-esteem level. The current study focused on an approach for recognizing affirmation-induced responses in electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha asymmetry. (2) Methods: EEG data were collected from a total of 45 males (16-20 years) on a baseline condition and compared to EEG data produced when listening to positive self-statements, regarding self-esteem as a covariate. (3) Results: The study revealed relative left-frontal alpha asymmetry, indicating an approach-related motivational state, and right alpha asymmetry in parieto-temporal regions, indicating lower anxiety. This increased with higher self-esteem scores, with a more prominent moderation effect in experimental conditions. These results support and extend previous reports suggesting an adverse effect of positive self-statements for people with lower global self-esteem. (4) Conclusions: Positive self-statements may produce a differing physiological effect regarding an individual's global self-esteem level, with an adverse effect for people with lower self-esteem scores. These data highlight the need to consider differentiation of psychological approaches between people with higher and lower self-esteem levels.
... Cela peut s'expliquer par le fait que la manière dont les participants traitent les stimuli qui leur sont donnés est trop superficielle pour modifier la perception qu'ils ont d'eux-mêmes sans le soutien d'autres techniques de TCC. De plus, malgré une applicabilité clinique apparemment large, des études empiriques ont montré que ces interventions pouvaient diminuer l'estime de soi chez les personnes ayant une faible estime de soi initiale(Wood et al., 2009). Une explication de l'impact limité et parfois négatif des interventions par auto-déclarations positives est que les auto-déclarations positives, qui simulent des connaissances sur soi très globales ou génériques (ex : « j'ai accompli pleins de choses dans ma vie et je suis fier de moi », ...
... Nous avons cependant vu dans notre méta-analyse que ces interventions manquent d'efficacité pour l'augmentation de l'estime de soi. Une de nos hypothèses pour expliquer ce manque d'efficacité était que les interventions par auto-déclarations positives utilisent généralement des perceptions de soi très génériques(Cristea et al., 2014;Wood et al., 2009). Dans une procédure plus personnalisée,Philpot et Bamburg (1996) adaptent les items d'une échelle de pensées automatiques pour élaborer les auto-déclarations positives utilisées par les participants. ...
Thesis
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Self-esteem is recognized as an essential psychological resource. Low self-esteem is a trans-diagnostic symptom of many psychological disorders. Considering its association with coping skills and psychological adjustment strategies, the preservation of self-esteem appears to be an important clinical issue in oncology care as it would allow patients to better cope with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This thesis, through a meta-analysis of the interventions proposed to increase self-esteem in adults, has highlighted some of their characteristics that limit their efficacy and clinical applicability. Then, seven randomized controlled studies were conducted and allowed the development of a new short and self-administered technique for self-esteem increase, easily applicable to cancer patients. The lexical association technique aims at improving self-esteem by reinforcing the associative links between the Self and positive concepts stored in memory, through the activation of semantic and episodic forms of self-knowledge. This reinforcement is based on a reading and mental visualization exercise. In this thesis, the efficacy of the lexical association technique on global self-esteem was highlighted in students and breast cancer patients. Various studies aiming to simplifying and increasing the clinical applicability of the technique have demonstrated the need for retrieval of detailed memory traces, as well as the importance of contact with the experimenter in the efficacy of our technique. These results enabled us to develop and test a second format of the lexical association technique on global self-esteem, optimizing the activation of episodic self-perceptions, and proposing personalized and engaging exercises. Self-perceptions, on which self-esteem is based, are rooted in the individual's memory system. This thesis has contributed to highlighting that their reinforcement requires a combined activation of the different forms of self-knowledge that constitute them. However, the clinical applications of the lexical association technique as a transdiagnostic intervention have yet to be defined.
... The use of a negative comparison group raises the issue that a positive outcome of the technique may come from a significant drop in self-esteem in this negative comparison group. Moreover, despite apparent broad clinical applicability, empirical studies have shown that positive self-statement interventions could decrease self-esteem in people with low baseline self-esteem (Wood et al., 2009). One explanation of the negative impact of positive self-statement interventions on people with low self-esteem is that positive self-statements, which simulate generic self-perceptions (e.g., "I am intelligent"), can have only superficial effects on self-esteem with the repetition of a sentence-reading exercise alone because subordinate episodic self-perceptions are not changed accordingly. ...
... Mobilizing only the semantic aspects of self-perception through the repetition of a sentence-reading exercise could also have positive effects on self-esteem, as had been shown in the literature on the efficacy of positive self-statement interventions (Cristea et al., 2014;Philpot & Bamburg, 1996). However, positive self-statement interventions can have deleterious effects on people with low self-esteem (Wood et al., 2009). The mental visualization exercise using episodic self-perceptions helps to avoid this negative effect by encouraging the appropriation of the generic sentences presented. ...
Article
Introduction: Self-esteem is central to human well-being, quality of life, and mental health. Therefore, it is important to propose preventive and therapeutic techniques to deal with decline in self-esteem. Different interventions have been proposed and their efficacies have been validated. However, they present certain constraints such as a cognitive and/or emotional cost, which limit some clinical applications. Method: Based on contributions from cognitive, social, and clinical psychology, we propose to test the efficacy of a new technique for self-esteem enhancement using brief lexical associations and mental visualization (six sessions of five minutes) for a stimulation of episodic and semantic self-perceptions. Results: Comparing the Lexical Association Technique to a control technique and using a double-blind pre-post design, two studies show the efficacy of this new technique on global self-esteem in two samples of students (n Study1 = 36; n Study2 = 89), as well as a sustained effect up to 5 days after the technique is stopped. Discussion: The mechanisms underlying the efficacy of this technique are discussed. Further studies are needed to precise the clinical applicability of the Lexical Association Technique on patients.
... EW interventions targeting body image leave open the possibility for participants to focus on both positive and negative aspects of body image in writing interventions, and women with high levels of body image distress may tend to focus more on negative aspects in their writing. For instance, evidence indicates that individuals with low self-esteem actually have worse outcomes with interventions meant to elicit positive outcomes, such as repeating positive self-statements (Wood et al. 2009). EW interventions that enhance psychological constructs such as self-compassion may address the limitations of traditional EW interventions' effects on body image by prompting participants to cultivate a more accepting view of oneself. ...
Article
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College women are at risk for body dissatisfaction, but enhancing the positive aspects of body image can serve as a protective factor. Self-compassion has been associated with body appreciation and may protect against negative body image. This study tested the effect of a self-compassion writing intervention on positive body image and affect and explored self-compassion as a mediator between writing group and positive body image. We used a randomized controlled design to compare self-compassion writing (n = 51), traditional expressive writing (n = 50), and control writing (n = 51) interventions in college women. Participants were mostly European-American (82%) with a mean age of 19. Participants wrote online for 20 min once a week for three consecutive weeks. Results indicated that negative and positive affect decreased for all three groups. There were no differences between groups on positive body image or affect; however, the self-compassion writing group reported greater increases in self-compassion (F = 3.48, p < 0.05, ηp ² = 0.05). Moreover, mediator models revealed that the effect of group (self-compassion vs. traditional/control writing) on body appreciation and body image quality of life was mediated by self-compassion. Overall, the findings indicate that self-compassion writing increased self-compassion, and greater increases in self-compassion were associated with greater increases in positive body image and positive affect.
... It is also important to note that the 'Third Wave' of cognitive-behavioural approaches place great emphasis on promoting behaviour that is consistent with personal values (Hayes, 2004). Indeed, self-talk that is not congruent with an individual's core self-concept has been shown to have a detrimental effect on well-being (Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009). ...
Article
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Past research has found that solution-focused (SF) coaching questions led to more positive outcomes than problem-focused (PF) coaching questions. Another body of research (Broaden and Build Theory; Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 300–319) posits that positive emotions promote AQ2the discovery of novel ideas and actions including goal attainment and positive change. These theoretical frameworks have influenced coaching practitioner literature, but no research has explored their conjoint effects. We explore these by randomly allocating 512 participants in comparing (1) PF coaching questions with (2) SF coaching questions with (3) positive affect (PA) induction with (4) a SF plus PA condition (SF + PA). The broad findings of this study were that PF questions performed the worst on all measures, and that PA induction and SF coaching questions were equally effective at enhancing positive affect, increasing self-efficacy, enhancing goal approach and developing action steps. These results show, that while positive affect makes a valuable contribution to coaching outcomes, combining PA induction with SF questions produces superior outcomes than PA or SF questions alone in terms of self-efficacy, goal approach and action steps. While this research supports the central tenets of Broaden and Build Theory in terms of coaching outcomes, just making people feel good is not enough for truly effective coaching practice.
... However, this would not be conducive to self-affirmation, since self-affirmation is related to core aspects of one's self-concept (Steele, 1988). Wood, Perunovic, and Lee (2009) found that positive self-statements made by individuals with low self-esteem can backfire and make the individual feel worse, by drawing the individual's attention to the discrepancy between their life and their positive self-statements. An individual may also run into issues, given that one's Facebook friends tend to also be offline friends who could call one out for constructing an unrealistic profile (Ellison & Boyd, 2013). ...
Article
Literature examining self-esteem and social networking site use has generally considered linear relationships between these variables. Mixed results in this extant literature and Self-Affirmation Theory indicate that a curvilinear relationship is possible. Data from a survey of 337 Dutch adolescents (ages 12–18) suggest a curvilinear relationship between self-esteem and Facebook use. Relative to higher and lower levels of self-esteem, moderate levels of self-esteem correspond to the highest levels of both Facebook use and specific activities, such as text- and visual-based social contributions. Results clarify our understanding of the relationships between the well-being variable, self-esteem, and social networking site use.
... One tentative explanation for why this occurred is that the 22 self-affirmations made individuals less defensive about their performance evaluation and thus 23 more willing to identify and report inadequacies in their performance. Alternatively, the 1 affirmation intervention may have had a paradoxical effect on those high in rivalry by 2 highlighting discrepancies between the lofty affirmations they are making and the self-3 perceptions they hold (Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009). However, an important caveat to any 4 speculation of the interaction effect of self-affirmations and rivalry is that our manipulation 5 check (self-integrity scale scores) examining the efficacy of the affirmations revealed no 6 difference between the control and affirmation group, suggesting that the affirmation 7 intervention could have been ineffective. ...
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A fundamental goal of the narcissistic individual is to maintain his/her grandiose self-view. This maintenance can be achieved through different processes associated with two dimensions of narcissism: admiration and rivalry. Admiration is associated with assertive self-enhancement and behaviours motivated by the desire to boost the ego, whereas rivalry is associated with the defensive behaviours motivated by the need to protect against threats to the ego. Here, we examine the effect of narcissistic admiration and rivalry on performance in an important interpersonal domain (a public speaking task). Because the behaviours associated with narcissistic rivalry are motivated by ego threat, we further examined the moderating effect of self-affirmations, a process designed to reduce ego threat, on performance.We assigned 90 Thai students to a self-affirmation or control group and asked them to deliver a five minute speech in front of a video camera and studio lights. We assessed speech performance through self-report and observer ratings, and state anxiety using self-report. Narcissistic admiration was positively related to self and observer-rated performance and lower anxiety. In contrast, narcissistic rivalry was associated with greater anxiety but was unrelated to observer-rated speech performance. Unexpectedly, self-affirmations moderated the effect of narcissistic rivalry (but not admiration) on self-rated performance such that rivalry negatively affected self-perceived performance following (but not in the absence of) self-affirmations. These results add to the developing literature on narcissistic admiration and rivalry, and support the benefit of conceptualising narcissism according to two distinct dimensions rather than as a single grandiose component.
... 3) The motivation for self-completeness is not to praise yourself, but to act in a manner that deserves respect or praise. If self-affirmation lacks credibility, it may yield counterproductive results (Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2010). Therefore, the resources of self-affirmation must be real, not fictional and beautiful self-illusions. ...
... What works for some may not work for others. Wood, Perunovic, and Lee (2009) looked at another individual characteristic, self esteem, to examine the effects of self-talk. High and low self-esteem participants in their study were asked to repeat positive self-talk statements or were assigned to a no-statement control condition. ...
... Thus, even so-called positive interventions (those designed to increase positive states directly) can cause negative/deterioration effects. 17 For example, J. V. Wood, Perunovic, and Lee (2009) found that repeating positive self-statements (e.g., "I accept myself completely") caused those with low self-esteem to feel even worse. They speculate that these may backfire for those with low self-esteem because the unsuccessful attempt to "avoid negative thoughts . . . ...
Article
The positive/negative distinction works well in many fields—for example, in mathematics negative numbers hold their own, and in medical pathology negative results are usually celebrated. But in positive psychology negativity should be replaced with positivity for flourishing/optimal functioning to occur. That the designation of the psychological states and processes deemed positive (good/desirable) and negative (bad/undesirable) is made a priori, independent of circumstantial particularity, both intrapersonal and interpersonal, does not seem to bother positive psychologists. But it should, as it results in conceptual muddles and dead ends that cannot be solved within their conceptual framework of positivity and negativity. Especially problematic is an ambiguity I find in positive psychologists’ a priori and a posteriori understandings of positivity and negativity, an ambiguity about constitutive and causal relations that pervades their science and the conclusions drawn from it. By eliminating their a priori dichotomy of positivity and negativity, positive psychologists might well find themselves in a better position to put back together the psychological reality that they have fractured in their ontologically dubious move of carving up psychological reality a priori into positive and negative phenomena. They then might find themselves better placed to “broaden and build” their own science of flourishing.
... Most relevant for the present research, these authors distinguish between verbal self-statements (i.e., self-talk) from nonverbal self-statements made by gestures (e.g., head movements; see also Van Raalte & Vincent, 2017). Thus, according to prior theory and research, self-talk may be viewed as a type of self-delivered verbal persuasion (more specifically, self-persuasion; e.g., Briñol, McCaslin, & Petty, 2012;Maio & Thomas, 2007) that occurs under specific circumstances (e.g., Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009) such as when the goal of athletes' self-talk is to increase their perceived self-efficacy in performing a sport-related behavior (e.g., Bandura, 1997;Hardy, 2006;Theodorakis, Hatzigeorgiadis, & Zourbanos, 2012;Tod, Hardy, & Oliver, 2011). ...
Article
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Research on self-talk has found that what athletes say to themselves influences their performance in sport settings. This experiment analyzed the relationship between positive and negative self-talk and physical performance in light of another variable: overt head movements. Participants were randomly assigned to first generate and then listen to either positive or negative self-statements. They were then randomly assigned to nod (up and down) or to shake (side to side) their heads while being exposed to the self-statements they had previously generated. Finally, physical performance was assessed using a vertical-jump task, a squat test, and a deadlift task. As expected, positive self-statements led to better performance than negative self-statements in 2 out of 3 physical tasks. Most relevant, the main effect of self-talk was significantly qualified by head movements. Consistent with the authors' hypothesis, athletes' self-statements were significantly more impactful on physical performance in the head-nodding condition than in the head-shaking condition.
... Опишем резуль таты некоторых исследований. W ood, Perunovic, Lee [20] подтверждают небольшое положительное влияние их на людей с высокой самооценкой, но отрицательное -на лиц с низкой самооценкой. По казано, что утверждения, которые выходят за пре делы границ приемлемости для последних, вызы вают сопротивление и даже потенциально поддер живают, укрепляют в них изначальное низкое самовосприятие. ...
Conference Paper
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Шелестюк Е.В., Галущак М.В. Особенности аффирмаций как способа речевого воздействия // Вестник Курганского государственного университета. 2019. № 1 (52). С. 110-116. Br/ Аннотация: В статье рассматриваются типы аффирмаций, их вербализация, характер и механиз­ мы воздействия на человека. Утверждается, что в ос­ нове аффирмаций лежит механизм рекурсии, индуци­ рующий совершенствование личности. В ситуациях со многими участниками и условиями, не зависящими от реципиента, следует модулировать аффирмации так, чтобы они были направлены на обострение внимания реципиента, логики, поиска входа из ситуации, прогно­ зирование, стратегическое планирование, видение целостной картины. Ключевые слова: психолингвистика, прагма-лингвистика, аффирмация, рекурсия, речевые форму­ лы. Annotation: The article discusses the types of affirmations, their verbalization, the nature and mechanisms o f human exposure. It is argued that the basis o f affirmations is the mechanism o f recursion, inducing the improvement o f the individual. In situations with many participants and conditions that are not dependent on the recipient, affirmations should be modulated so that they are aimed at increasing the attention o f the recipient, logic, searching for input from the situation, forecasting, strategic planning, and a vision o f a holistic picture.
... Such selfstatements must be credible to the client to be effective. Bald statements such as "I am a lovable person," which may be thought to improve mood, are likely to actually worsen mood in clients low in self-esteem, in whom such statements may trigger contrary thoughts (Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009). ...
Chapter
Alcohol Abuse and DependenceUsing Systematic Motivational Counseling with Alcohol-Dependent Clients: Initial Steps and OverviewPreliminary Counseling ComponentsGoal-Setting ComponentsSubsequent Counseling ComponentsLife Enhancement and Advancement ProgramOther Experiences Using SMCReferences
... Why did ability self-talk-which directly challenges negative competence beliefs-fail to confer any benefits? We argue that, in line with social judgment theory (Sherif & Hovland, 1961;Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009), children with negative competence beliefs, who are prone to experiencing self-doubt and stress, dismissed the core message that ability self-talk seeks to convey (i.e., I am competent). Instead, by engaging in ability self-talk, these children kept focusing their attention on their (presumed lack of) ability, allowing deteriorating performance to occur. ...
Article
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Children with negative competence beliefs often achieve below their potential in school. This randomized field experiment tested whether engaging in positive self‐talk may benefit these children’s mathematics performance. Participants (N = 212, Grades 4–6, Mage = 10.6) worked on the first half of a standardized mathematics test, engaged in effort self‐talk (“I will do my very best!”), ability self‐talk (“I am very good at this!”), or no self‐talk, and worked on the second half of the test. Compared to both the conditions, effort self‐talk benefited the performance of children holding negative competence beliefs: It severed the association between negative competence beliefs and poor performance. By internally asserting that they will deliver effort, children with negative competence beliefs can optimize their achievement in school.
... For them, self-immersed focus on expedience/worth/power/ status/pleasure may be what spurs BAS-mediated relief from anxious distress and defensiveness. This possibility is suggested by past research linking power, self-esteem, and fun/pleasure with approach motivation (Anderson & Berdahl, 2002;Carver & White, 1994;Heimpel, Elliot, & Wood, 2006;Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003;May, Juergensen, & Demaree, 2016;McGregor et al., 2007, Study 2), and other research indicating that people with high but not low self-esteem are able to benefit from self-worth enhancement opportunities (Dodgson & Wood, 1998;McGregor, 2006a;Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009; see OSD for negative correlation between meaning search and self-esteem). Another possibility is that such people dislike and are not used to focusing on selftranscendent topics, and so being forced to do so creates a conflict that activates the BIS (and thereby mutes BAS). ...
Article
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Fidelity with self-transcendent values is hailed as a hallmark of mature and magnanimous character by classic psychological and philosophical theories. Dozens of contemporary experiments inspired by self-affirmation theory have also found that when people are under threat, focus on self-transcendent values can confer magnanimity by improving psychological buoyancy (less anxious and more courageous, determined, and effective) and decreasing belligerence (less defensive, extreme, and hostile). The present research was guided by the postulate that both aspects of magnanimity—its buoyancy and its freedom from belligerence—arise from the approach motivated states that self-transcendent foci can inspire. Experimental manipulations of self-transcendent foci (values, spirituality, compassion) heightened state approach motivation as assessed by electroencephalography (Study 1, n = 187) and self-report (Study 2, n = 490). Further, even though the heightened approach motivation was transient, it mediated a longer-lasting freedom from moral (Study 1) and religious (Study 2) belligerence. Importantly, self-transcendent-focus effects on approach motivation and belligerence occurred only among participants with high trait meaning search scores. Results support an interpretation of meaningful values and spiritual ideals as self-transcendent priorities that operate according to basic motivational mechanics of abstract-goal pursuit. The transient, approach-motivated state aroused by transcendence-focus causes longer lasting relief from preoccupation with threat, leaving people feeling buoyant and generous. Relevance of results for self-affirmation theory and the psychology of spirituality are discussed.
... That is, there may have been perceived conflict between the self-talk that feels natural in the moment, and the irrational self-talk. For example, some research ( Wood et al., 2009) has shown that that using self-talk that conflicts with ones more deeply held cognitions can be detrimental to performance when compared with the use of self-talk that corresponds to more deeply held cognitions. Therefore, in the current study the irrational self-talk may have been perceived as less congruent with the participants usual self-talk when putting, compared to the rational self-talk. ...
Article
The investigation of rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) in sport settings is growing, but controlled experimental field studies are sparse. In the limited extant literature, researchers have found that irrational (extreme, rigid, and illogical) self-talk leads to disrupted motor skill performance, compared to rational (non-extreme, flexible, and logical) self-talk. However, methodological limitations of past research and the absence of sport-relevant tasks limit the application of findings to athletic settings. Therefore, the current study examined the effects of rational and irrational self-talk on the pressured putting performance of amateur golfers, by adopting a controlled and field-based experimental study design. A two-way repeated-measures ANCOVA, controlling for baseline putting ability, revealed that golfers' putting accuracy was significantly better when using rational self-talk than when using irrational self-talk. In addition, one-samples and paired-samples t-tests showed that golfers reported that rational self-talk was more usable than the irrational self-talk, and perceived the rational self-talk to be more facilitative than the irrational self-talk for their putting performance. The results are discussed with reference to potential explanatory mechanisms, study limitations, and future research needs.
... Admittedly, it is true that our current living conditions are different from the African savannah in which most of human evolution took place, but some measure of stress is needed for everyday living. Per the Yerkes-Dodson law, we know that there is an empirical relationship between arousal and performance that becomes manifest as a curve, and while too much anxiety is prejudicial for performance, too little is prejudicial as well (47). Positive affirmations may induce too much relaxation in a task, which may consequently be poorly done. ...
Article
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In continuation with the New Thought movement that arose in the United States in the 19th Century, there is now a massive self-help industry that markets books and seminars. This industry has also extended to healthcare in the form of positive thinking, i.e., the idea that happy thoughts are essential for health. While some of these claims may seem reasonable and commonsensical, they are not free of problems. This article posits that positive thinking has some ethical underpinnings. Extreme positive thinking may promote alternative forms of medicine that ultimately substitute effective treatment, and this is unethical. The emphasis on positive thinking for cancer patients may be too burdensome for them. Likewise, unrestricted positive thinking is not necessarily good for mental health. After considering the ethics of positive thinking, this article proposes a more realistic approach.
... This was also identified by service users as one of the priorities for research into self-help to understand what works and why (Lucock et al., 2007). Given that the use of non-evidence-based self-help was found to have negative impacts on users (Yeung and Lun, 2020), for example, among individuals with low self-esteem (Wood et al., 2009), the effectiveness of self-help strategies ought to be communicated to clients so that they understand the boundaries and limits of which these self-help activities work. While they may supplement and act as an adjunct to therapy, general advices from self-help sources could potentially be misinterpreted by clients and leading to wrong or blind application that sets them up for disappointment. ...
Article
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Objective: This study examined self-help strategies engaged by psychotherapy clients and explored their views on such self-help approach. Methods: Secondary analysis of data from a qualitative research study was conducted. A total of 15 psychotherapy clients were recruited, and data were collected via semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of data was conducted using inductive approach to examine the content. Results: Three main themes revolving around self-help strategies were identified: (1) types of self-help strategies, (2) reasons for engaging in self-help activities, and (3) effectiveness of self-help strategies. Conclusion: The self-help approach to manage distress is common among psychotherapy clients. This study provided insights into understanding how and why clients use self-help strategies in their daily lives.
... Thus, self-affirmation can polarize judgments when it follows thinking, thereby magnifying the impact of whatever dominant thought is accessible at the time (e.g., Keitman & Stankov, 2007;Mirels et al., 2002;Vohs et al., 2013). For example, Wood et al., (2009) revealed that having participants express selfaffirmations (e.g., "yes, I can" or "I am stronger everyday") led to good outcomes for those with positive thoughts (individuals high in self-esteem), but to negative outcomes for those with negative thoughts (for those with low self-esteem; see, Baumeister, et al., 2003;Brummelman et al., 2014, for additional examples). ...
Article
Can people improve their lives by smiling more, trying to have a better posture, and by thinking about good memories? Can individuals become more successful by deliberatively engaging in positive actions and thoughts? Do people feel better by following recommendations from naïve psychology? In the present article we discuss these questions, noting that although some popular interventions thought to be universally beneficial (e.g., inductions of happiness, self-affirmation, empowerment, self-distancing) can sometimes yield positive outcomes, at other times the outcomes can also be negative. Taking an empirical approach based on experimental evidence, we postulate that understanding the underlying processes discovered in the science of persuasion is the key for specifying why, when, and for whom these practical initiatives are more likely to work or to backfire.
... Generating positive self-statements may highlight the discrepancy between people's perceived deficiency and the preferred standard they would like to meet. The discrepancy between their actual and ideal selves as a result becomes more salient, which makes them feel worse [see e.g., (57)]. In line with 'person-activity fit' concept from the positive-activity model [(58, 59); see also (10)], these findings broadly mirror that certain types of activities could be good for certain types of people, but not for others. ...
Article
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This study builds on growing evidence on implementation-intention-based self-affirmation intervention effects on mental health. Using a factorial design, this pre-registered study aimed to further investigate whether (1) strengthening the element of specificity within body-related self-affirming implementation intention (BS-AII) intervention compared to general self-affirming implementation intention (S-AII) would provide greater improvements in mental health outcomes for adults with psoriasis, and (2) whether the addition of a booster component would result in enhancing effectiveness at follow-up. A total of 306 adults with psoriasis were assessed for eligibility and 222 (aged 18–71 years) were randomized and received S-AII, BS-AII, or MGI (mere goal intention—control condition). Within each group, participants were again randomized to booster (B) or no-booster condition in a 3 × 2 factorial design, resulting in six groups: S-AII; S-AII + B; BS-AII; BS-AII + B; MGI; and MGI + B. Data were collected over three-time points, at baseline, 2 weeks post-intervention, and at 1-month later. Three primary outcomes were defined as a reduction of anxiety and depressive symptoms and enhancement of well-being. In terms of secondary outcomes, positive other- and self-directed feelings and also an emotional attitude toward the body were evaluated. To fully estimate intervention effects through intention-to-treat analysis, linear mixed models were used. A significant effect of time was observed, but no evidence of time-by-group interactions and no three-way interactions were detected. Exploratory analyses revealed two significant moderating effects of age and self-esteem, pointing to boundary conditions of the interventions. These findings offer to gain deeper insights on null (or negative) effects also reported in past works and highlight that self-affirmation interventions should be more thoroughly investigated and optimized before they can be broadly implemented in real-life contexts, especially to prevent backfiring and negative-enhancing effects.
... A growing body of research has failed to show that confronting negative "maladaptive" thoughts and changing belief content is necessary to affect improvements in CBT and improve outcomes (Dimidjian et al., 2006;Longmore & Worrell, 2007;Stice et al., 2010). Some studies have also shown that adopting positive thinking patterns may lower mood and self-esteem or may prove to be effective only for some people (Haeffel, 2010;Wood et al., 2009). Similarly, past research has highlighted that attempts to change thoughts/beliefs are paradoxically associated with an increase in pain (Goubert et al., 2004;Masedo & Esteve, 2007). ...
Thesis
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Vulvodynia is characterised by persistent vulvar pain which can be spontaneous, arise from touch or pressure (Provoked Vestibulvodynia; PVD) or a combination of both. The lifetime prevalence of Vulvodynia ranges from 10–28%, and it is associated with significant impacts on women’s physical, social, sexual, and emotional functioning. Despite its prevalence and wide-ranging impacts, the causes of this condition are unknown, and biomedical treatments have resulted in poor and unsatisfactory improvements in pain and sexual function. This suggests the need for a wider conceptualisation and approach to treatment in this population, one that incorporates psychosocial factors. Previous research indicates that exploring psychosocial factors and applying psychological interventions may be beneficial in people with persistent pain. Relatedly, the Psychological Flexibility (PF) model and the treatment most directly linked to this -- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) -- have growing evidence for their relevance and effectiveness in persistent pain. However, understanding of psychosocial factors in Vulvodynia is currently limited, and PF and ACT have not been applied to this population. The purpose of this thesis was to explore psychosocial factors in Vulvodynia, including PF, and to develop and test an ACT-based intervention in this population. This thesis comprises four studies: 1) a systematic review, 2) a cross-sectional network analysis study, 3) a longitudinal study, 4) a single-case experimental design intervention study. Study 1: The systematic review investigated the relationship between psychosocial factors and pain and sexual functioning in women with Vulvodynia. Twenty-one observational/experimental studies were included and comprised only of women with PVD. Significant associations between psychosocial factors and outcomes in PVD were found. Some psychosocial factors were consistent with the general pain literature. These included depression, anxiety, self-efficacy, catastrophising, pain anxiety, and pain acceptance. However, some of the identified psychosocial factors were unique to PVD compared to more general pain literature. These included body-exposure anxiety/avoidance during intercourse, attention to sexual cues, painful intercourse self-efficacy, partner hostility and solicitousness and penetration cognitions. Overall, the systematic review highlights the need to consider psychosocial factors in the treatment of this condition, and treatments may need to be tailored to appreciate the particular importance of interpersonal and sex-related aspects in Vulvodynia. Limitations of the literature include the exclusive focus on PVD, that the variables examined lacked a guiding and integrating theoretical model, and the studies did not examine the complexity of inter-relationships between psychosocial factors and multiple outcomes simultaneously. Study 2: To begin to address some of the identified limitations, this cross-sectional study examined the association between PF (pain acceptance, present-moment-awareness, and committed action), body-exposure anxiety, unmitigated sexual communion, and perceived injustice with pain and sexual outcomes and depression through network analysis. A sample of 349 women with Vulvodynia (112 provoked, 237 spontaneous/mixed subtype) was recruited online. Networks were computed for the total sample and the subtypes separately to explore potential differences. The results showed that perceived injustice, pain acceptance, and depression were “central” factors in all models. Similarly, PF facets were relevant for all networks. However, depression was more central in the network for mixed/spontaneous Vulvodynia, and body-exposure anxiety was most central for the provoked subtype. Overall, perceived injustice, depression, and PF may play a meaningful role in Vulvodynia, but there are differences across subtypes. Mood-related factors may be more important in women with spontaneous/mixed Vulvodynia and intercourse-related aspects in PVD. Tailored treatment approaches are suggested, and psychological treatment focused on PF and injustice is indicated, regardless of the subtype. Study 3: Building on the cross-sectional findings, this study examined the prospective association between facets of PF (as in study 2), body-exposure anxiety during intercourse, and perceived injustice with the pain and sexual outcomes and depression. Women with Vulvodynia were recruited online and completed self-report measures at baseline (n=349) and again after three months (n=244), overlapping with the COVID-19 pandemic. From baseline to three months, there were significant decreases in pain intensity, pain interference, present-moment-awareness, committed action, and a significant increase in depression. In regression analyses, pain acceptance significantly predicted pain interference at three months, and committed action significantly predicted depression at three months. Overall, this study provides preliminary evidence that two facets of PF prospectively predict two important areas for women with Vulvodynia. Psychosocial approaches that foster PF, such as ACT, may represent a promising avenue for treatment in this population. Study 4: This multiple baseline single-case experimental design (SCED) evaluated whether an online ACT programme, combined with a Vulvodynia-specific manual, improved pain and sexual outcomes and depression in Vulvodynia. The study also explored whether the intervention led to changes in possible processes of therapeutic change. During baseline and treatment phases, 7 participants completed daily self-report measures of outcomes and process variables. Full-length assessments of these variables were also completed. Visual inspection, Tau and Tau-U scores and analyses of clinically significant change suggested improvements in pain interference, pain intensity, sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction for some individuals. However, participants had highly individual treatment effects. Limited improvement was found in depression. Pain acceptance, committed action, and perceived injustice emerged as potential mechanisms of change for some individuals. These results suggest that an online ACT-based approach may help to improve pain and sexual outcomes in some people with Vulvodynia. Future investigations using SCEDs and ACT-based interventions in this population are warranted. Discussion: This thesis provides evidence for a set of psychosocial factors in women with Vulvodynia, including facets of PF, and for the potential utility of using an online ACT-based idiographic approach in this population. The thesis findings suggest a multi-layered understanding of psychosocial processes in Vulvodynia is needed. Psychological Flexibility provides a companion set of functional processes, alongside interpersonal and social experiences which together influence Vulvodynia outcomes. These psychosocial factors may be individually varying and subtype-specific. This multi-layered understanding can guide future research and refine our understanding of this condition. Use of idiographic approaches may enable further understanding of individual and subtype differences in this population.
... However, to date, there is no empirical evidence for these types of mechanisms. In fact, self-affirmations have not been found to systematically increase self-esteem or boost self-image (Wood et al. 2009;McQueen and Klein 2006). ...
Article
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The claim that partisanship has developed into a social identity is one of the dominant explanations for the current rising levels of affective polarization among the U.S. electorate. We provide evidence that partisanship functions as a social identity, but that the salience of partisan identity—in and of itself—does not account for increased affective polarization. Using a two-wave panel survey capturing natural variation in the salience of politics, we find that partisanship contributes more to individuals’ self-concept in times of heightened political salience. We also show that partisans can be detached from their Democratic or Republican identity by having them focus on individuating characteristics (by way of a self-affirmation treatment). However, we find only limited evidence that when partisan social identity is made less salient, either by way of natural variation in political context or through a self-affirmation treatment, partisans are any less inclined to express in-party favoritism and out-party hostility. Taken together, our evidence shows that partisanship does operate as an important social identity, but that affective polarization is likely attributable to more than the classic in-group versus out-group distinction.
... A similar effect might also occur when the performance that people experienced in virtual reality or through video recordings is very different from their own ability or performance. For example, Wood et al. (2009) indicates that hearing positive self-statements can even backfire if they do not match the person's current belief. Additionally, although only an association between capability comparison and selfefficacy can be argued for in this study, the relationship may be causal, as it was found in other vicarious experience studies (Brown & Inouye, 1978). ...
Article
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Effective psychological interventions for anxiety disorders often include exposure to fearful situations. However, individuals with low self-efficacy may find such exposure too overwhelming. We created a vicarious experience in virtual reality, which enables observation of one's experience from a first person perspective without actual performance and which might increase self-efficacy. With similarities to both traditional vicarious experiences and direct experiences, the level of self-identification with the experience was hypothesized to affect self-efficacy and its relationship with direct experiences. To test this, vicarious experiences with two distinct levels of self-identification were compared in a between-subjects experiment (n ¼ 60). After being exposed to a vicarious experience of giving lectures on elementary arithmetic in front of a virtual audience with either a high or low level of self-identification with the public speaker, participants from both conditions actively gave another lecture. The results revealed that self-identification affected people's self-efficacy after vicarious experience. They further revealed that self-identification is a moderator of (1) the correlation between perceived performance and self-efficacy, (2) the correlation between self-efficacy measured after the vicarious and the follow-up direct experience; and (3) the correlation between the sense of presence reported in the vicarious and in the follow-up direct experience. We anticipate that the first-person-perspective experiences with high-level of self-identification have the potential to be beneficial for training where changing people's self-efficacy is desirable.
... Fourth, it might be particularly difficult to enhance the self-esteem of individuals with low selfesteem because they show adverse reactions to affirmations designed to improve their selfesteem (Kwang & Swann, 2010;Wood et al., 2009). Fifth, a deeper understanding of the interpersonal and intrapersonal mechanisms that account for the benefits of high self-esteem is needed to improve the design of effective interventions. ...
Article
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Debates about the benefits of self-esteem have persisted for decades, both in the scientific literature and in the popular press. Although many researchers and lay people have argued that high self-esteem helps individuals adapt to and succeed in a variety of life domains, there is widespread skepticism about this claim. The present article takes a new look at the voluminous body of research (including several meta-analyses) examining the consequences of self-esteem for several important life domains: relationships, school, work, mental health, physical health, and antisocial behavior. Overall, the findings suggest that self-esteem is beneficial in all these domains, and that these benefits hold across age, gender, and race/ethnicity, and controlling for prior levels of the predicted outcomes and potential third variable confounds. The meta-analytic estimates of self-esteem effects (which average .10 across domains) are comparable in size to estimates for other hypothesized causal factors such as self-efficacy, positive emotionality, attachment security, and growth mindset, and larger than some generally accepted pharmaceutical interventions. Discussion focuses on several issues that are critical for evaluating the findings, including the strength of the evidence for making causal inferences, the magnitude of the effects, the importance of distinguishing between self-esteem and narcissism, and the generalizability of the results. In summary, the present findings support theoretical conceptions of self-esteem as an adaptive trait that has wide-ranging influences on healthy adjustment and adaptation, and suggest that interventions aimed at boosting self-esteem might, if properly designed and implemented, benefit individuals and society as a whole.
... Such selfstatements must be credible to the client to be effective. Bald statements such as "I am a lovable person," which may be thought to improve mood, are likely to actually worsen mood in clients low in self-esteem, in whom such statements may trigger contrary thoughts (Wood, Perunovic, & Lee, 2009). ...
Chapter
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Overconsumption of alcohol is a major problem in western society. Why do people drink excessively despite overwhelming negative consequences? Choosing to drink is determined by the several psychological systems undergirding any motivated behavior. Drinkers’ expectations of stronger positive and weaker negative affect from drinking are the most proximal determinant of their choice to drink. More distal systems will have previously determined the nature of these expectations, such as previous biochemical reactions to alcohol, relevant personality traits, and rewards or punishments for drinking imposed by the person’s social context. Knowing these motivational determinants of excessive drinking provides insight into how to help people overcome their motivation to drink. Two kinds of interventions have evolved from the motivational model of alcohol use. One intervention trains drinkers to divert their attention away from alcohol stimuli in the environment, thereby aiming to reduce their craving for alcohol. The other intervention helps drinkers find emotional satisfaction through healthy goal pursuits, thereby reducing their need for alcohol. Promising results have been obtained with both of these interventions.
... Thus, the nonsignificant effect of self-statements on self-esteem could stem from a lack of statistical power (only four independent effect sizes for this type of intervention). Another explanation could be that the technique's efficacy may be sensitive to a participant's initial level of self-esteem, as self-statements can have a negative effect on some people, particularly those with low self-esteem, by creating a cognitive dissonance between self-perceptions and the self-statements used (Wood et al., 2009). However, recently this negative effect on people with low self-esteem has not been replicated (Flynn & Bordieri, 2020). ...
Article
Many types of intervention are used to boost adults’ self-esteem but their relative efficacy and the characteristics that moderate this efficacy remain unclear. We addressed these questions via a meta-analysis of 119 studies. Results obtained using a random-effects model showed a significant effect of interventions on adults’ global self-esteem, d = 0.38, 95% CI [0.33, 0.43]. This efficacy is moderated by some types of intervention, session format, experimenter contact, population type, and type of control group. We discuss these findings by addressing the limitations of our analyses and some issues related to this field of research (e.g., lack of power, heterogeneity of the studies included, publication bias, confounding effects) and by providing recommendations for future research and clinical practice.
Article
Objective A narcissistic individual can seek to maintain his/her grandiose self-view through different processes associated with assertive self-enhancement (narcissistic admiration) or antagonistic self-protection (narcissistic rivalry). Here, we examine how admiration and rivalry affect anxiety and performance in a speaking task. Because the behaviours associated with narcissistic rivalry are motivated by ego threat, we further examined the moderating effect of self-affirmation, a process designed to reduce ego threat, on performance. Method We assigned 90 Thai students to a self-affirmation or control group and asked them to deliver a short speech. We assessed speech performance through self-report and observer ratings, and state anxiety using self-report. Results Narcissistic admiration was adaptive for speech performance and predicted higher self and observer-rated speech performance and lower anxiety. In contrast, narcissistic rivalry was associated with greater anxiety but was unrelated to speech performance. Self-affirmation moderated the effect of narcissistic rivalry on self-rated speech performance but in an unexpected direction such that rivalry was negatively related to speech performance following self-affirmation. Conclusion These results add to the developing literature on the behavioural correlates of narcissistic admiration and rivalry, with admiration reflecting the more socially adaptive component of grandiose narcissism.
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This paper discusses a survey, carried out by the authors, of 211 employees’ employed in public and private manufacturing organizations in North India to determine if emotional stability acts as a mediator between self-disclosure and social adjustment. Capitalization theory has been used as theoretical framework to examine the proposed relationships. Results indicate that high self-disclosure has positive association with social adjustment. Results also suggest that emotional stability partially mediates self-disclosure and social adjustment relationship. Implications for future research include further examination through additional mediators and other dimensions of self-disclosure from capitalization theory in understudied non-U.S. cultures like India.
Article
Western parents often give children overly positive, inflated praise. One perspective holds that inflated praise sets unattainable standards for children, eventually lowering children's self-esteem (self-deflation hypothesis). Another perspective holds that children internalize inflated praise to form narcissistic self-views (self-inflation hypothesis). These perspectives were tested in an observational-longitudinal study (120 parent–child dyads from the Netherlands) in late childhood (ages 7–11), when narcissism and self-esteem first emerge. Supporting the self-deflation hypothesis, parents’ inflated praise predicted lower self-esteem in children. Partly supporting the self-inflation hypothesis, parents’ inflated praise predicted higher narcissism—but only in children with high self-esteem. Noninflated praise predicted neither self-esteem nor narcissism. Thus, inflated praise may foster the self-views it seeks to prevent.
Conference Paper
A number of negotiation training systems have been developed to improve people’s performance in negotiation. They mainly focus on the skills development, and less on negotiation understanding and improving self-efficacy. We propose a virtual reality negotiation training system that exposes users to virtual cognitions during negotiation with virtual characters with the aim of improving people’s negotiation knowledge and self-efficacy. The virtual cognitions, delivered as a personalized voice-over, provide users with a stream of thoughts that reflects on the negotiation and people’s performance. To study the effectiveness of the system, a pilot study with eight participants was conducted. The results suggest that the system significantly enhanced people’s knowledge about negotiation and increased their self-efficacy.
Chapter
Neurocognitive Learning Therapy (NCLT) is a therapeutic system which targets disorders of mental health. It is designed to work with and make use of our understanding of how the human brain processes and learns information. It is unique in this regard. Some mental health therapies were developed in response to specific etiological hypotheses (psychoanalysis) or operant learning principles (applied behavior analysis). Others had no etiological basis at all but relied on healing concepts such as self-actualization. NCLT is based on information processing theory and mathematically derived brain network models organized along small word hub principles. It incorporates 16 principles that reflect what is known from both learning theory and neuropsychological research. Whatever you call the result of the particular learning that occurs in therapy, self-actualization, behavioral change, spiritual growth, destruction of maladaptive gestalts, or behavior change, the result of therapy should be that the individual engages in more adaptive behavior at the end than when they began. This inevitably means that the individual has learned new ways of behaving.
Article
Toxic positivity is indicated by encouraging words spoken in difficult situations that force someone to feel good about themselves. It becomes a current issue around the Generation Z because of the realization that toxic positivity could have a negative impact on mental health and individual social relationships. This study aims to analyze the views of Generation Z on the phenomena of toxic positivity. The approach of this study was quantitative using descriptive methods.
Article
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People with lower self-esteem (LSEs) suffer from poor relational well-being. This may occur, in part, because LSEs’ epistemic needs constrain their ability to benefit from positive social feedback. Consistent with this hypothesis, LSEs felt undeserving of positive social feedback, which undermined their relational well-being (Experiment 1). After receiving positive social feedback, LSEs displayed an equal preference for additional positive and negative feedback, and their willingness to pursue negative feedback predicted poor well-being (Experiment 2). However, LSEs did seize the opportunity to pursue additional positive feedback about a domain of personal strength, and when they did so, their well-being benefited (Experiment 3). These results help explain chronic self-esteem differences in relational well-being and suggest avenues for future well-being interventions.
Article
Following the growth of online, higher-education courses, academic institutions are now offering fully online degree programs. Yet it is not clear how students who enroll in fully online degree programs are similar to those students who enroll in in-person (“traditional”) degree programs. Because previous work has shown students’ attitudes toward science can affect their performance in a course, it is valuable to ask how attitudes toward science differ between these two populations. We studied students who completed a fully online astrobiology course. In an analysis of 451 student responses to the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience survey, we found online program students began the course with a higher scientific sophistication and a higher sense of personal value of science than those in traditional programs. Precourse attitudes also showed some predictive power of course grades among online students, but not for traditional students. Given established relationships between feelings of personal value, intrinsic motivation, and, in turn, traits such as persistence, our results suggest that open-ended or exploration-based learning may be more engaging to online program students due to their pre-existing attitudes. The converse may also be true, that certain pre-existing attitudes among online program students are more detrimental than they are for traditional program students.
Poster
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Lay theory of positive thinking, promoted by popular self-help materials, claims that one can live a happier life by changing one's thinking through reading and internalising positive self-statements. Although these materials have reached a worldwide audience, psychologists have speculated these materials may promote victim-blaming. Using correlational and experimental designs (Study 1, N = 172; Study 2, N = 130), we found that the usage of positive self-statements predicts blaming attribution toward the depressed (Study 1: r = .21; Study 2: d = .38). These findings suggest that the misuse of popular self-help materials may result in propagating blaming attribution related to depression.
Article
Negotiating serves as an essential skill in our daily life, however, it is quite challenging to negotiate well. Various negotiation training systems have been developed to solve this problem and improve people’s performance in negotiation. Nevertheless, these systems mainly focus on skills practice and less on negotiation understanding or self-efficacy development. Aiming at improving both people’s negotiation knowledge and self-efficacy, a virtual reality negotiation training system is proposed that exposes users to virtual cognitions during negotiating with virtual characters. The virtual cognitions, delivered as a personalised voice-over, provide users with a stream of thoughts that reflects on the negotiation progress and their performance, and also presents self-motivational statements. To study the effectiveness of the system and the self-motivational statements included in virtual cognitions, an empirical study with 48 participants was conducted. The study employed a between-subjects design with three groups: waitlist, training with self-motivational statements, and training without self-motivational statements. 24 waitlist participants were also randomly assigned to and completed the training following the waiting period. The results indicated that 1) the system significantly enhanced people’s knowledge about negotiation and increased their self-efficacy, 2) the self-motivational statements included in virtual cognitions even further improved self-efficacy. Furthermore, these effects remained after multiple weeks.
Article
In a recent paper published in this journal, Eric Funkhouser argues that some of our beliefs have the primary function of signaling to others, rather than allowing us to navigate the world. Funkhouser’s case is persuasive. However, his account of beliefs as signals is underinclusive, omitting both beliefs that are signals to the self and less than full-fledged beliefs as signals. The latter set of beliefs, moreover, has a better claim to being considered as constituting a psychological kind in its own right than the set of beliefs Funkhouser identifies.
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methods of parental upbringing and its relationship with mood state for Hebron University students/West Bank/ Palestine.
Book
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The second edition of this popular textbook encapsulates the excitement of the fascinating and fast-moving field of social psychology. A comprehensive and lively guide, it covers general principles, classic studies and cutting-edge research. Innovative features such as 'student projects' and 'exploring further' exercises place the student experience at the heart of this book. This blend of approaches, from critical appraisal of important studies to real-world examples, will help students to develop a solid understanding of social psychology and the confidence to apply their knowledge in assignments and exams.
Chapter
By whatever technique used to facilitate the process, most therapy in a clinical setting consists of taking a previously learned set of maladaptive beliefs and behaviors and replacing them with newly learned adaptive beliefs and behaviors. Even therapeutic techniques that do not focus directly on behavior change can be understood in terms of implied change. The principles of learning are reviewed.
Article
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We examined individual differences in the motivation to regulate affect intensity. In three samples (total n = 1082) we used structural equation modeling and found support for a serial mediation model in which positive trait affect predicted the motivation to increase the intensity of positive affect and decrease the intensity of negative affect, indirectly, through the commonality and value of positive affect. These findings indicate that trait affect drives regulation motives for multiple parameters of affect: people most value, and are motivated to feel, moods and emotions that match their typical experiences on intensity as well as valence.
Article
Decentering is the process of observing one's thoughts from a self-distanced (i.e. third-person) and non-judgmental perspective, and it is clinically known for its anxiolytic and anti-depressive effects. However there is only preliminary evidence relating decentering to improved motivation, and no studies have controlled for changes in affect which can obscure the measurement of motivation (Harmon-Jones, Harmon-Jones, & Price, 2013). In the current investigation, two experiments tested the hypothesis that decentering increases approach motivation, a buoyant state characterized by goal pursuit, independently of changes in affect. In Study 1 (N = 148), decentering was induced using a self-distancing manipulation (i.e. fly-on-the-wall; Kross & Ayduk, 2011), and in Study 2 (N = 143) decentering was induced using brief instructions on applying non-judgmental awareness of thoughts. Following previous research showing that decentering is most effective against negative emotional reactivity for distressed people (Kross & Ayduk, 2009), our hypothesis focused on high trait distress participants. Trait distress was operationalized as the average of standardized distress-related scales (e.g. rumination, depression, uncertainty aversion), and state affect was operationalized using the Felt Uncertainty Scale and the PANAS. Analyses revealed that decentering increased self-reported approach motivation for high trait distress individuals, and that this effect was not mediated by changes in state affect.
Article
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It is proposed that independent desires for positivity and verisimilitude shape the sequence of cognitive operations people perform on self-relevant evaluations. In phase 1, the mere identification of evaluative information triggers a minimally cognitive tendency to embrace favorable evaluations and eschew unfavorable ones, a positive tropism. If sufficient motivation and cognitive resources are available, people proceed to phase 2, wherein they evaluate the verisimilitude of the evaluation by comparing it with a series of representations of self; beginning with their actual selves. To the extent that actual selves are uncertain and cognitive resources and motivation to continue processing are ample, people make additional comparisons with various possible selves (e.g., who they ought to be, who they ideally might be, and who they are according to "objectively accurate" indexes). If sufficient cognitive resources and motivation are still available, people will engage in a third phase, consisting of a cost-benefit analysis.
Article
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The impact on self-esteem of activating self-doubt was investi- gated in three studies. Individuals with enduring high self- doubt were expected to be more threatened by an experimental induction of self-doubt (modeled on the ease of retrieval para- digm) than individuals low in enduring self-doubt, and their self-esteem was predicted to decline. The predictions were sup- ported when self-esteem was measured postexperimentally (Experi- ment 1) and when it was measured both pre- and postexperimentally (Experiment 2). There was no comparable loss in self-esteem for individuals low in self-doubt. A third experiment explored the phenomenology of low-self-doubt individuals and replicated the finding that their level of self-esteem was unaffected by the induc- tion designed to produce doubt.
Article
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Despite the amount of attention that researchers have devoted to the topic of self-esteem, many central questions remain unanswered. Sociometer theory addresses many such questions by suggesting that self-esteem is part of a psychological system (the sociometer) that monitors the social environment for cues indicating low or declining relational evaluation (e.g., lack of interest, disapproval, rejection) and warns the individual when such cues are detected. The theory suggests that people are not motivated to maintain their self-esteem per se as has been typically assumed, but rather seek to increase their relational value and social acceptance, using self-esteem as a gauge of their effectiveness. The present chapter describes sociometer theory's perspective on self-esteem, reviews evidence relevant to the theory, and describes how it explains phenomena in which self-esteem has been implicated, including interpersonal emotion, social identity effects, intergroup behaviour, and clinical disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
Article
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In numerous self-affirmation studies, Claude Steele and colleagues have demonstrated that self-affirmations reduce the need to justify dissonant behavior even when the affirmation is unrelated to the dissonance-evoking action. However, research has not sufficiently examined the impact of reaffirming self-aspects that are related to the dissonance. The authors argue that relevant affirmations of this sort can make salient the standards that are violated in the course of dissonant behavior; thereby increasing dissonance and the need for self justification. In a laboratory study using the induced-compliance paradigm, it was demonstrated that dissonance can be exacerbated by reaffirming standards that are violated in the course of the dissonant behavior. Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/68836/2/10.1177_0146167297237002.pdf
Article
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Experienced ease of recall was found to qualify the implications of recalled content. Ss who had to recall 12 examples of assertive (unassertive) behaviors, which was difficult, rated themselves as less assertive (less unassertive) than subjects who had to recall 6 examples, which was easy. In fact, Ss reported higher assertiveness after recalling 12 unassertive rather than 12 assertive behaviors. Thus, self-assessments only reflected the implications of recalled content if recall was easy. The impact of ease of recall was eliminated when its informational value was discredited by a misattribution manipulation. The informative functions of subjective experiences are discussed.
Article
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It is assumed that people seek positive self-regard; that is, they are motivated to possess, enhance, and maintain positive self-views. The cross-cultural generalizability of such motivations was addressed by examining Japanese culture. Anthropological, sociological, and psychological analyses revealed that many elements of Japanese culture are incongruent with such motivations. Moreover, the empirical literature provides scant evidence for a need for positive self-regard among Japanese and indicates that a self-critical focus is more characteristic of Japanese. It is argued that the need for self-regard must be culturally variant because the constructions of self and regard themselves differ across cultures. The need for positive self-regard, as it is currently conceptualized, is not a universal, but rather is rooted in significant aspects of North American culture. Conventional interpretations of positive self-regard are too narrow to encompass the Japanese experience.
Article
Despite growing evidence that depression is linked with self-focused attention, little is known about how depressed individuals become self-focused or, more generally, about what arouses self-focus in everyday life. Two experiments examined the hypothesis that affect itself induces self-focused attention
Article
Insofar as people organize information about and evaluations of important topics in connected and coherent systems, attitudes may be changed from within by enhancing the salience of information already present virtually within the person's belief system without communicating new information from outside sources. A cognitive positivity bias is predicted such that stimulus evaluation (e.g., self-esteem) is affected more by characteristics that the stimulus possesses than by ones it lacks. Experiment 1 tested relations between participants' momentary self-esteem and concurrently salient desirable(vs. undesirable) self-characteristics possessed (vs. lacked). Experiments 2 and 3 changed participants' self-esteem by using directed-thinking tasks to manipulate the salience of desirable (vs. undesirable) self-characteristics possessed (and, to a lesser extent, lacked).
Article
This study investigated the relationship between childhood anxiety disorders, the valence and content of self-statements, and the impact of treatment on the internal dialogue. Participants (151 8- to 13-year-olds) included 71 youth with anxiety disorders and 80 control participants. Positive and negative self-statements and a states-of-mind (SOM) ratio were examined. Results indicated that the negative self-statements and SOM ratio (but not positive self-statements) of children with anxiety disorders significantly predicted anxiety. Results also indicated that negative (but not positive cognition) and SOM ratio predicted improvement in anxiety after treatment and mediated treatment gains. Results of analyses to explore the content specificity hypothesis were mixed. The impact of negative self-talk on children's anxious symptomatology and favorable treatment outcome is discussed.
Article
The mood-congruent judgment effect refers to the fact that when a mood and an idea are similar in pleasantness, the idea will generally seem better in some way. For example, when people are happy, they will judge pleasant concepts as richer in their associations, pleasant attributes as more applicable, and pleasant examples of categories as more typical. This mood-related component of cognition is viewed longitudinally among normal students for the first time here. The authors demonstrate that over time, changes in mood covary with changes in judgment in normal individuals.
Article
Contrasts are statistical procedures for asking focused questions of data. Researchers, teachers of research methods and graduate students will be familiar with the principles and procedures of contrast analysis included here. But they, for the first time, will also be presented with a series of newly developed concepts, measures, and indices that permit a wider and more useful application of contrast analysis. This volume takes on this new approach by introducing a family of correlational effect size estimates. By returning to these correlations throughout the book, the authors demonstrate special adaptations in a variety of contexts from two group comparison to one way analysis of variance contexts, to factorial designs, to repeated measures designs and to the case of multiple contrasts.
Article
when (or under what conditions) will a message recipient be relatively open-minded, and motivated by concerns for validity, and when will he or she be close-minded, and motivated to defend his or her attitude / this is the critical question now faced by researchers interested in the communication-persuasion process (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Assimilation and contrast effects in the placement of opinion items in a series and in the evaluation of the acceptability of such items are explained by principles derived from psychophysical studies of stimulus placement and the development of scales of judgment. The book contains a systematic survey of relevant psychophysical studies plus an analysis of several of the authors' recent experiments on the judgment of weights, opinion topics, and political parties. In addition to the argument that assimilation and contrast effects depend on the location of anchors employed by the judge in evaluating the stimulus items, the authors introduce the concepts of latitude of acceptance and latitude of rejection and discuss the implications of these concepts for attitude change and communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A hierarchical facet model of self-esteem proposed by R. J. Shavelson et al (see record 1978-30429-001) was partially tested in a previous study by J. S. Fleming and W. A. Watts (see record 1981-28061-001). Their 3 factors, which were labeled Self-Regard, Social Confidence, and School Abilities, corresponded to 3 of the 4 dimensions posited by Shavelson et al. Predictions of other individual-difference variables from these factors were also tested by correlational analysis. Improvements to the instrument led to a replication of their 3 factors plus 2 predicted physical factors: Physical Appearance and Physical Abilities. In the present study, with 259 undergraduates, a 2nd-order factor analysis yielded a single, superordinate factor of global self-esteem, supporting the hierarchical interpretation of the facet model. Construct validity was further examined by replication of the correlational findings of Fleming and Watts and by correlations with other measures of personality and adjustment, including a global measure of self-esteem: the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The facet model as presently operationalized measures dimensions of relevance for the intended population, but these dimensions are not so broadly defined as to be redundant with related constructs. (65 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two techniques for inducing depressed mood in the laboratory are described and evaluated. The Velten mood induction procedure has been shown to mimic the effects of naturally occurring depressed mood on a wide range of variables, some of which are unlikely to be susceptible to faking. It therefore appears that the Velten depression induction produces a state which is a good analogue of mild, naturally occurring retarded depression. However, between 30% and 50% of subjects fail to respond to the Velten. This makes it cumbersome for research purposes and raises questions about the generalizability of results obtained using it. The Musical mood induction procedure has been less extensively researched than the Velten. However the available evidence suggests that it also produces a good analogue of mild, naturally occurring retarded depression. In addition, it has the advantage that almost all subjects respond to it. Some commentators have taken the fact that the Velten procedure can induce depressed mood as evidence for the cognitive theory of depression. It is argued that this conclusion is invalid as it makes unwarranted assumptions about the strategies subjects use in order to change mood during the Velten procedure. Several practical points relating to the use of Velten and Musical induction procedures are discussed.
Book
There are few topics so fascinating both to the research investigator and the research subject as the self-image. It is distinctively characteristic of the human animal that he is able to stand outside himself and to describe, judge, and evaluate the person he is. He is at once the observer and the observed, the judge and the judged, the evaluator and the evaluated. Since the self is probably the most important thing in the world to him, the question of what he is like and how he feels about himself engrosses him deeply. This is especially true during the adolescent stage of development.
Article
Despite growing evidence that depression is linked with self-focused attention, little is known about how depressed individuals become self-focused or, more generally, about what arouses self-focus in everyday life. Two experiments examined the hypothesis that affect itself induces self-focused attention. In Experiment 1, moods were manipulated with an imagination mood-induction procedure. Sad-induction Ss became higher in self-focus than did neutral-induction Ss. Experiment 2 replicated this effect for sad moods by means of a musical mood-induction procedure and different measures of self-focus. However, Experiment 2 failed to support the hypothesis that happy moods induce self-focus. The results have implications for mood-induction research, self-focused attention, and recent models of depression.
Article
Mood experience is comprised of at least two elements: the direct experience of the mood and a meta-level of experience that consists of thoughts and feelings about the mood. In Study 1, a two-dimensional structure for the direct experience of mood (Watson & Tellegen, 1985) was tested for its fit to the responses of 1,572 subjects who each completed one of three different mood scales, including a brief scale developed to assist future research. The Watson and Tellegen structure was supported across all three scales. In Study 2, meta-mood experience was conceptualized as the product of a mood regulatory process that monitors, evaluates, and at times changes mood. A scale to measure meta-mood experience was administered to 160 participants along with the brief mood scale. People's levels on the meta-mood dimensions were found to differ across moods. Meta-mood experiences may also constitute an important part of the phenomenology of the personal experience of mood.
Article
In 4 experiments, college students received bogus personality-test feedback that they possessed an actual-self, ideal-self (desired but unpossessed), or rejected-self (unwanted and unpossessed) trait. When the test had low credibility, rejected-self feedback produced positive mood (PM), whereas ideal-self feedback produced negative mood (NM). Self-comparison of the feedback with self-representations apparently revealed the falsity of the feedback, making salient Ss' virtues or shortcomings. The pattern reversed when test credibility was high: Rejected-self feedback led to NM and ideal-self feedback to PM. These effects were not evident, however, when the feedback trait had high personal importance or when Ss generated counterexamples before feedback about an unimportant trait. This suggests that reactions to self-discrepant feedback depend on whether convincing counterexamples are readily accessed during self-comparison.
Article
Insofar as people organize information about and evaluations of important topics in connected and coherent systems, attitudes may be changed from within by enhancing the salience of information already present virtually within the person's belief system without communicating new information from outside sources. A cognitive positivity bias is predicted such that stimulus evaluation (e.g., self-esteem) is affected more by characteristics that the stimulus possesses than by ones it lacks. Experiment 1 tested relations between participants' momentary self-esteem and concurrently salient desirable (vs. undesirable) self-characteristics possessed (vs. lacked). Experiments 2 and 3 changed participants' self-esteem by using directed-thinking tasks to manipulate the salience of desirable (vs. undesirable) self-characteristics possessed (and, to a lesser extent, lacked).
Article
This study investigated the relationship between childhood anxiety disorders, the valence and content of self-statements, and the impact of treatment on the internal dialogue. Participants (151 8- to 13-year-olds) included 71 youth with anxiety disorders and 80 control participants. Positive and negative self-statements and a states-of-mind (SOM) ratio were examined. Results indicated that the negative self-statements and SOM ratio (but not positive self-statements) of children with anxiety disorders significantly predicted anxiety. Results also indicated that negative (but not positive cognition) and SOM ratio predicted improvement in anxiety after treatment and mediated treatment gains. Results of analyses to explore the content specificity hypothesis were mixed. The impact of negative self-talk on children's anxious symptomatology and favorable treatment outcome is discussed.
Article
Analysis of continuous variables sometimes proceeds by selecting individuals on the basis of extreme scores of a sample distribution and submitting only those extreme scores to further analysis. This sampling method is known as the extreme groups approach (EGA). EGA is often used to achieve greater statistical power in subsequent hypothesis tests. However, there are several largely unrecognized costs associated with EGA that must be considered. The authors illustrate the effects EGA can have on power, standardized effect size, reliability, model specification, and the interpretability of results. Finally, the authors discuss alternative procedures, as well as possible legitimate uses of EGA. The authors urge researchers, editors, reviewers, and consumers to carefully assess the extent to which EGA is an appropriate tool in their own research and in that of others.
Celebrate you! Building your self-esteem. Min-neapolis
  • J T Johnson
Johnson, J.T. (1991). Celebrate you! Building your self-esteem. Min-neapolis, MI: Lerner.
Contrasts and effect sizes in behavioral research: A correlational approach Ease of retrieval as information: Another look at the availability heuristic
  • R Rosenthal
  • R L Rosnow
  • D B Rubin
Rosenthal, R., Rosnow, R.L., & Rubin, D.B. (2000). Contrasts and effect sizes in behavioral research: A correlational approach. New York: Cambridge University Press. Schwarz, N., Bless, H., Strack, F., Klumpp, G., Rittenauer-Schatka, H., & Simons, A. (1991). Ease of retrieval as information: Another look at the availability heuristic. Journal of Personality and So-cial Psychology, 61, 195–202.
Like yourself and live The power of positive thinking
  • J H Mcquaig
McQuaig, J.H. (1986). Like yourself and live. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Rexdale, Hunter Carlyle. Peale, N.V. (1952). The power of positive thinking. New York: Prentice-Hall.
Pump up your motivation muscle! Self
  • S Gordon
Gordon, S. (2001, August). Pump up your motivation muscle! Self, p. 79.
The power of positive thinking
  • N V Peale
Peale, N.V. (1952). The power of positive thinking. New York: Prentice- Hall.
Like yourself and live
  • J H Mcquaig
McQuaig, J.H. (1986). Like yourself and live. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Rexdale, Hunter Carlyle.