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Interpersonal Functions of the Self-Esteem Motive

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Abstract

In a discipline with few universally accepted principles, the proposition that people are motivated to maintain and enhance their self-esteem has achieved the rare status of an axiom. The notion that people want to think highly of themselves, behave in ways that promote self-esteem, and become distressed when their needs for self-esteem are unmet can be found in the writings of classic personality theorists (Adler, 1930; Allport, 1937; Horney, 1937; Rogers, 1959), contemporary social psychologists (Green-berg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986; Greenwald, 1980; Greenwald & Breckler, 1985; Steele, 1988; Taylor & Brown, 1988; Tesser, 1988), and clinicians (Bednar, Wells, & Peterson, 1989). The self-esteem motive has been invoked as an explanation for a wide variety of behaviors, including prejudice (Katz, 1960), self-serving attributions (Blaine & Crocker, 1993; Snyder, Stephan, & Rosenfield, 1978), reactions to evaluations (S. C. Jones, 1973), self-handicapping (E. E. Jones & Berglas, 1978), responses to counterattitudinal behavior (Steele, 1988), and self-presentation (Schlenker, 1980). Furthermore, low self-esteem has been linked to problems such as depression, alcohol abuse, suicide, and eating disorders, and high self-esteem has been implicated in good mental health (e.g., Baumeister, 1991; Bednar et al., 1989; Taylor & Brown, 1988). If previous theorists and researchers are correct in their claims, the need to protect and enhance one’s self-esteem constitutes an exceptionally pervasive and important motive.

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... Self-esteem is boosted up by other's acceptance that relies on one's societal role (Anthony et al., 2007). On the other hand, continuous rejection leads individuals to lower self-confidence (Leary & Downs, 1995). A study showed undesirable relationships between social rejection and self-esteem. ...
... The self-esteem system may be a sociometer that screens the quality of an individual's interpersonal connections and goads behaviors that offer help to the person to protect the slightest level of acknowledgment by other people (Leary & Downs, 1995). When poor social appraisal and fundamentally social devaluation is experienced, the sociometer brings out enthusiastic inconvenience as an alarm flag and moves behaviors to reestablish social appreciation (Leary & Baumeister, 2000). ...
... There are two observing systems-one fast and one long term that compare to the common refinement between state and characteristic self-esteem. State self-esteem screens the person's current social regard and, consequently, the degree to which he or she is likely to be acknowledged and included versus rejected and maintained a strategic distance from by other people inside the provoking circumstance (Leary & Downs, 1995). The state self-respect system screens an individual's behavior and social atmosphere for prompts relevant to the social evaluation and responds with full of feeling and motivational comes about. ...
Article
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This study aims at assessing the association between the facilities of parks and social acceptance toward self-esteem for the elderly population (50years and above) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The facilities of parks include social services and infrastructural amenities. The study was carried out in a mixed-method technique, and data were collected from 203 elderly users of four parks selected by stratified random sampling. Participant observation was applied to support quantitative data. The participants were selected using exponential non-discriminative snowball sampling. Data were analyzed using multivariate regression analysis. The findings revealed: (a) Pleasant social services boost-up self-esteem for elderly users; (b) Elderly selfesteem linked to societal acceptance and social inclusion was enhanced by infrastructural facilities and safety measures. Dhaka conserves the need of increasing the number of age-friendly parks. Gerontologists, city governance, and urban planners extract information from the study to build age-friendly parks.
... Self-esteem is boosted up by other's acceptance that relies on one's societal role (Anthony et al., 2007). On the other hand, continuous rejection leads individuals to lower self-confidence (Leary & Downs, 1995). A study showed undesirable relationships between social rejection and self-esteem. ...
... The self-esteem system may be a sociometer that screens the quality of an individual's interpersonal connections and goads behaviors that offer help to the person to protect the slightest level of acknowledgment by other people (Leary & Downs, 1995). When poor social appraisal and fundamentally social devaluation is experienced, the sociometer brings out enthusiastic inconvenience as an alarm flag and moves behaviors to reestablish social appreciation (Leary & Baumeister, 2000). ...
... There are two observing systems-one fast and one long term that compare to the common refinement between state and characteristic self-esteem. State self-esteem screens the person's current social regard and, consequently, the degree to which he or she is likely to be acknowledged and included versus rejected and maintained a strategic distance from by other people inside the provoking circumstance (Leary & Downs, 1995). The state self-respect system screens an individual's behavior and social atmosphere for prompts relevant to the social evaluation and responds with full of feeling and motivational comes about. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims at assessing the association between the facilities of parks and social acceptance toward self-esteem for the elderly population (50 years and above) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The facilities of parks include social services and infrastructural amenities. The study was carried out in a mixed-method technique, and data were collected from 203 elderly users of four parks selected by stratified random sampling. Participant observation was applied to support quantitative data. The participants were selected using exponential non-discriminative snowball sampling. Data were analyzed using multivariate regression analysis. The findings revealed: (a) Pleasant social services boost-up self-esteem for elderly users; (b) Elderly self-esteem linked to societal acceptance and social inclusion was enhanced by infrastructural facilities and safety measures. Dhaka conserves the need of increasing the number of age-friendly parks. Gerontologists, city governance, and urban planners extract information from the study to build age-friendly parks.
... Sociometer theory (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995) maintains that self-esteem is part of a system that monitors and regulates people's social acceptance and rejection by others. More specifically, self-esteem is thought to develop as a monitor, or sociometer, that observes the social environment for signs of rejection or exclusion and alerts the individual when cues are detected so that the individual may act accordingly to maintain or acquire inclusion. ...
... In support of this notion, studies have shown that self-perceived mate value positively relates to self-esteem (Brase & Guy, 2004;Penke & Denissen, 2008). The combination of sociometer theory (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995) and the mating sociometer (Kirkpatrick & Ellis, 2001) suggests experiences of romantic rejection should lead to decreases in self-perceived mate value, while romantic acceptance should cause the opposite. ...
... Although prior research has not explored self-perceived mate value as a moderator of rejection, some literature has explored self-esteem as a moderator. Notably, sociometer theory (Leary & Downs, 1995;Leary & Baumeister, 2000) proposes that individuals with low self-esteem should be more sensitive to rejection than those with high self-esteem, as those with low self-esteem must focus on becoming socially included. Indeed, individuals with low self-esteem are more susceptible to distress, negative self-evaluation, and decreased state self-esteem after imagining being broken up with (i.e., rejected) by a romantic partner (Waller & MacDonald, 2010), and feel worse about themselves after experiencing a rejection or failure than those with high self-esteem (Brown, 2010). ...
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Research has shown that ideal romantic standards predict future partner characteristics and influence existing relationships, but how standards develop and change among single individuals has yet to be explored. Using the Ideal Standards Model, the present study sought to determine whether repeated experiences of romantic rejection and acceptance over time influence ideal standards, ideal flexibility, and self-perceived mate value (N = 208). Per expectations, results suggest repeated experiences of rejection result in decreases in ideal standards and self-perceived mate value and increases in ideal flexibility, though no effects emerged for acceptance. Given the predictive nature of ideal standards and the influence rejection has on such, findings from this study contribute to a greater understanding of relationship formation processes. OSF: osf.io/qy93h/
... The integration of the active appraisal perspectives (Leary, 2006) and SVT (Swann, 1983) sheds light on the role that WSSW plays in explaining why individuals that display higher levels of performance leave their organizations when they encounter abusive supervision. Active appraisal perspectives (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995) argue that self worth is part of a process through which individuals actively strive to appraise their social, cultural, or interpersonal standing (Leary, 2006), because self worth reflects one's value (Solomon et al., 1991), status (Barkow, 1980), and acceptance (Leary & Downs, 1995) within a social entity. Therefore, in line with active appraisal perspectives, employees' job performance is likely to enhance their WSSW in three ways (Leary, 2006). ...
... The integration of the active appraisal perspectives (Leary, 2006) and SVT (Swann, 1983) sheds light on the role that WSSW plays in explaining why individuals that display higher levels of performance leave their organizations when they encounter abusive supervision. Active appraisal perspectives (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995) argue that self worth is part of a process through which individuals actively strive to appraise their social, cultural, or interpersonal standing (Leary, 2006), because self worth reflects one's value (Solomon et al., 1991), status (Barkow, 1980), and acceptance (Leary & Downs, 1995) within a social entity. Therefore, in line with active appraisal perspectives, employees' job performance is likely to enhance their WSSW in three ways (Leary, 2006). ...
... show that individuals' own performance at work is a central predictor of how they see themselves at work (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995). Past work has demonstrated a disconnect between universal self-views and performance (Judge & Bono, 2001); however, across three unique studies, we demonstrate that job performance perceptions are related to work-specific evaluations of self worth (thus generalizing previous within-domain work to the workplace; see Marsh et al., 1999Marsh et al., , 2006, which answers a recent call for research to uncover how to improve self worth perceptions (Talaifar & Swann, 2020). ...
Article
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Higher-performing employees are extremely important to organizations due to their superior contribution to unit performance and vaulted value within their teams. In turn, they espouse higher work-specific self-worth evaluations that influence how they react to abusive supervision. Taking a self-verification perspective, we theoretically explain how performance (through work-specific self-worth) augments the aversive nature of abusive supervision, which in turn affects higher-performing employees’ job embeddedness and subsequent decisions to quit their jobs. Across three field studies, our model is supported as we find that performance is positively related to work-specific self-worth, which magnifies the negative effects of abusive supervision on satisfaction. Consequently, we discover that as job performance (and in turn self-worth) increases, abusive supervision indirectly reduces job embeddedness and increases turnover through two forms of satisfaction. We expound upon how these findings contribute to both theory and practice. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... Sociometer theory (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995) maintains that self-esteem is part of a system that monitors and regulates people's social acceptance and rejection by others. More specifically, self-esteem is thought to develop as a monitor, or sociometer, that observes the social environment for signs of rejection or exclusion and alerts the individual when cues are detected so that the individual may act accordingly to maintain or acquire inclusion. ...
... In support of this notion, studies have shown that self-perceived mate value positively relates to self-esteem (Brase & Guy, 2004;Penke & Denissen, 2008). The combination of sociometer theory (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995) and the mating sociometer (Kirkpatrick & Ellis, 2001) suggests experiences of romantic rejection should lead to decreases in self-perceived mate value, while romantic acceptance should cause the opposite. ...
... Although prior research has not explored self-perceived mate value as a moderator of rejection, some literature has explored self-esteem as a moderator. Notably, sociometer theory (Leary & Downs, 1995;Leary & Baumeister, 2000) proposes that individuals with low self-esteem should be more sensitive to rejection than those with high self-esteem, as those with low self-esteem must focus on becoming socially included. Indeed, individuals with low self-esteem are more susceptible to distress, negative self-evaluation, and decreased state self-esteem after imagining being broken up with (i.e., rejected) by a romantic partner (Waller & MacDonald, 2010), and feel worse about themselves after experiencing a rejection or failure than those with high self-esteem (Brown, 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that ideal romantic standards predict future partner characteristics and influence existing relationships, but how standards develop and change among single individuals has yet to be explored. Guided by the Ideal Standards Model (ISM), the present study sought to determine whether repeated experiences of romantic rejection and acceptance over time were associated with change in ideal standards, ideal flexibility, and self-perceived mate value (N = 208). Results suggest repeated experiences of rejection correspond to decreases in ideal standards and self-perceived mate value and increases in ideal flexibility, though no effects emerged for acceptance. Given the predictive nature of ideal standards and the link rejection has with such, findings from this study contribute to a greater understanding of relationship formation processes.
... Self-esteem is boosted up by other's acceptance that relies on one's societal role (Anthony et al., 2007). On the other hand, continuous rejection leads individuals to lower self-confidence (Leary & Downs, 1995). A study showed undesirable relationships between social rejection and self-esteem. ...
... The self-esteem system may be a sociometer that screens the quality of an individual's interpersonal connections and goads behaviors that offer help to the person to protect the slightest level of acknowledgment by other people (Leary & Downs, 1995). When poor social appraisal and fundamentally social devaluation is experienced, the sociometer brings out enthusiastic inconvenience as an alarm flag and moves behaviors to reestablish social appreciation (Leary & Baumeister, 2000). ...
... There are two observing systems-one fast and one long term that compare to the common refinement between state and characteristic self-esteem. State self-esteem screens the person's current social regard and, consequently, the degree to which he or she is likely to be acknowledged and included versus rejected and maintained a strategic distance from by other people inside the provoking circumstance (Leary & Downs, 1995). The state self-respect system screens an individual's behavior and social atmosphere for prompts relevant to the social evaluation and responds with full of feeling and motivational comes about. ...
Preprint
Green public space immensely provides ecological soundness (ES), social resilience, social inclusiveness, mental health, self-esteem, and cultural prosperity from privileged class to lower ones. This research aims at estimating the effect of social services, safety, and infrastructural amenity in green space (parks) on mental health building self-esteem for elderly population. Data were collected from four parks out of 21 in Dhaka selected by systematic random sampling. Two-hundred and three elderly participants were picked up for survey using snowball sampling. The survey was conducted in a pre-structured questionnaire consisted of 40 close-ended questions. Data was analyzed applying ordinal logistic model, multivariate regression analysis, and Partial Least Square (PLS) -Path Modeling. The study explored several key findings-1) Infrastructural amenities impacted social services of parks; 2) Social services contributed positively to mental health boosting up self-esteem for elderly population. 3) Likewise, mental health for elderly population was affected by safety measure of green space. Dhaka requires constructing age-friendly parks to promote elderly mental health.
... However, low self-esteem among children is associated with negative thoughts, avoidance of new experiences, difficulty in managing conflicts [1,16], poor physical and mental health later in life [17], depression [18,19], loneliness [20], suicidal thoughts [21], suicide attempts [22], eating disorders [23,24], anxiety [25], behavioral problems [26], drug and alcohol addictions [27], as well as criminal and anti-social behavior [27]. It is not surprising, then, that high self-esteem has been identified as a buffer against the onset of mental illness in childhood [28] and it functions as a mechanism for reducing stress [29] even when they face extremely stressful situations [25,30]. Thus, developing self-esteem at a young age is crucial for achieving better ability to cope with difficulties, and for developing resilience and emotional wellbeing later in life [29,31]. ...
... It is not surprising, then, that high self-esteem has been identified as a buffer against the onset of mental illness in childhood [28] and it functions as a mechanism for reducing stress [29] even when they face extremely stressful situations [25,30]. Thus, developing self-esteem at a young age is crucial for achieving better ability to cope with difficulties, and for developing resilience and emotional wellbeing later in life [29,31]. ...
Article
Full-text available
(1) Background: Self-esteem plays an important role in developing emotional resilience and wellbeing in children. Yet, there has been little related research on Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy on this topic. Our aims were to assess the effect of the Child Self-Esteem CBT (CSE-CBT) protocol on children’s self-esteem in grades five and six; to assess the effect of the CSE-CBT protocol on the therapeutic process; and to explore the feasibility of delivering the CSE-CBT protocol in a school setting. (2) Methods: Eighty elementary school children in grades five and six, divided into four intervention and four control groups, attended 12 structured sessions using the CSE-CBT protocol, led by specially trained teachers. The children completed questionnaires to assess their self-esteem at the beginning and at the end of the study, and answered weekly questionnaires that assessed therapeutic process. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze the data. (3) Results: The CSE-CBT protocol had a significant effect on improving children’s self-esteem over the course of the study, regardless of the children’s working alliance with the teacher leading the group. (4) Conclusions: The findings suggest that the CSE-CBT protocol has the potential to benefit children’s self-esteem and indicate that school teachers can be trained to administer the CBT-protocol.
... Selfies, however, are not posted in isolation but often followed by feedback in the form of 'likes'. Sociometer theory (Leary & Downs, 1995;Leary & Baumeister, 2000) argues that cues of inclusion and rejection calibrate self-esteem. The reception of 'likes' may be regarded as a cue of inclusion, improving self-esteem, while the absence of likes may be regarded a cue of rejection, negating self-esteem. ...
Article
Social media, and particularly posting ‘selfies’ have become fully incorporated into young people’s lives. Research indicates that posting selfies may impact upon self esteem and that feedback in the form of ‘likes’ may change how young people feel about themselves. To date, however, most research has been cross sectional or qualitative limiting conclusions about causality. Further, it has taken place in non naturalistic environments, with no longer term follow up and limited outcome variables. This experimental study explored the impact of posting selfies and receiving feedback (‘likes’) on Instagram on broader aspects of the psychological well-being of young people. Participants (n = 59) aged 16-25 were randomly allocated to one of three conditions for a 7-day intervention (no selfie-posting; posting selfies without feedback; posting selfies with feedback) and completed measures at baseline, after the intervention and at one week follow up. ‘Likes’ were delivered through an app. The intervention had no impact on self-esteem or mood. Posting no selfies resulted in a greater improvement in appearance satisfaction over the study compared to posting selfies (regardless of feedback). In contrast, posting selfies with feedback resulted in a greater improvement in face satisfaction during the intervention although this dropped back to baseline by follow up. To conclude the impact of selfies may vary depending upon which outcome variable is measured and when.
... James (1892) defined self-esteem as one's perception of their own competencies in a valuable domain. Leary & Downs (1995) defined self-esteem as an internal gauge, designed by natural selection that evaluates and monitors one's success in inter-personal relationships. Self-compassion and self-esteem are, in fact, strategies that help us avoid our negative feelings, but self-compassion has some advantages over self-esteem. ...
... A supportive work environment has been associated with lower levels of anxiety, and improved overall mental health [15][16][17]. In addition, the association between exclusionary experiences at work and mental health problems [18], and maladaptive behaviors, such as depression and substance abuse have been observed [19]. ...
Article
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Purpose To systematically assess the measurement properties and the quality of the evidence for measures of inclusion or exclusion at work. Methods Comprehensive searches of five electronic databases were conducted up to February 2019. Eligible studies aimed to develop a measure of workplace inclusion or exclusion or assessed at least one measurement property. Pairs of reviewers independently screened articles and assessed risk of bias. Methodological quality was appraised with the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist. A best-evidence synthesis approach guided the analysis. For each measurement property, evidence quality was rated as high, moderate, low, or very low and results were classified as sufficient, insufficient, or inconsistent. Results The titles and abstracts of 14,380 articles were screened, with 151 full-text articles reviewed for eligibility. Of these, 27 studies were identified, 10 of which were measure development studies. Included measures were the Workplace Ostracism Scale, Ostracism Interventionary Behaviour Scale, Workplace Culture Survey, Workplace Exclusion Scale, Perceived Group Inclusion Scale, Organizational Cultural Intelligence Scale, Inclusion–Exclusion Scale, Climate for Inclusion Scale, Workplace Social Inclusion Scale and the Inclusion-Diversity Scale. Most workplace inclusion instruments were not examined for some form of validity or reliability and evidence for responsiveness was absent. The quality of the evidence for content validity was low for 30% of studies and very low for 70% of studies. Conclusion Future research should focus on comprehensive evaluations of the psychometric properties of existing measures, with an emphasis on content validity, measurement error, reliability and responsiveness.
... For men, it was hypothesized that men would (1) be more likely to report feeling better about themselves after engaging in breakup sex. This hypothesis is based on men's desire for more mates and which in turn boosts their self-esteem (Hill & Preston, 1996;Leary & Downs, 1995;Meston & Buss, 2007). ...
Article
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Popular culture has recently publicized a seemingly new postbreakup behavior called breakup sex. While the media expresses the benefits of participating in breakup sex, there is no research to support these claimed benefits. The current research was designed to begin to better understand this postbreakup behavior. In the first study, we examined how past breakup sex experiences made the individuals feel and how people predict they would feel in the future ( n = 212). Results suggested that men are more likely than women to have felt better about themselves, while women tend to state they felt better about the relationship after breakup sex. The second study ( n = 585) investigated why men and women engage in breakup sex. Results revealed that most breakup sex appears to be motivated by three factors: relationship maintenance, hedonism, and ambivalence. Men tended to support hedonistic and ambivalent reasons for having breakup sex more often than women. The two studies revealed that breakup sex may be differentially motivated (and may have different psychological consequences) for men and women and may not be as beneficial as the media suggests.
... Additionally, according to Mann et al. (1997), a concern over loss of self-esteem if the decision goes wrong is one of the major sources of psychological stress arising from decisional conflict. Leary and Downs (1995) suggest that concerns with social acceptance is more salient for individuals with lower self-esteem. This could indicate that those individuals also experience more stress due to their concerns about severe social losses if their decisions go wrong. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire (MDMQ) is a widely used measure of decisionmaking styles (adaptive: vigilance; and maladaptive: hypervigilance, buck passing, and procrastination), but there is little evidence regarding its predictive ability in professional settings. The aim of the study was to assess the association between MDMQ dimensions and subjective performance evaluation of decision-making quality (SPEDM) among hospital nurses (N = 109). We also assessed whether MDMQ can predict variance in SPEDM when controlled for affective traits (neuroticism - BFI; and self-esteem - RSES), social desirability (MC-SDS10), and length of practice. Self-rated SPEDM was positively associated with vigilance, and negatively associated with maladaptive decision-making styles. Supervisor-rated SPEDM was unrelated to decision- making styles. Social desirability slightly affected the relationships between self-rated SPEDM and decision-making styles. Despite several limitations, the results cast doubt regarding the ability of the MDMQ to predict decision-making quality.
... Inclusion is also about having a voice (Sabharwal, 2014), belongingness (Shore et al., 2011;van Prooijen et al., 2004), and the individual feeling of being accepted and valued in the workplace (Pelled et al., 1999;Roberson, 2006). It is often viewed from a workplace environment perspective (Fujimoto et al., 2014), which suggests that inclusive work environments may drive employees' perceptions about the organization and thus influence their affective states (Leary and Downs, 1995). ...
Article
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Purpose – This paper examines the mediating roles of procedural justice and distributive justice in the organizational inclusion–affective wellbeing relationship. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 253 Australian employees using an online survey. The study used confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling to analyze the data. Findings – Organizational inclusion was positively related to both distributive justice and procedural justice. The relationship between organizational inclusion and affective wellbeing was mediated by both distributive justice and procedural justice. Research limitations/implications – The cross-sectional design may have limited the empirical inferences; however, the proposed model was based on robust theoretical contentions, thus mitigating the limitation of the design. Data were collected from a single organization, thus limiting generalizability. Practical implications – Implementation of inclusion training activities at organizational, group, and individual levels is important to enhance perceptions of organizational inclusion and subsequently improve employee affective wellbeing. Originality/value – Based on the group engagement model and group-value model of justice, this paper adds to the literature by demonstrating two mediating mechanisms driving the organizational inclusion–affective wellbeing relationship.
... In other words, employees use their procedural justice experience to gauge their selfworth to their organization and supervisor. If employees experience high levels of group responsiveness and feel that their voices are welcomed, seriously considered, and fairly implemented, their need for acceptance is more likely to be fulfilled, and they in turn feel that they are valuable, competitive and capable of suggesting change (Leary and Downs, 1995). As such, group responsiveness is expected to enhance OBSE: ...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact on employee voice from formal vs informal sources of procedural justice: group responsiveness and interactional justice, and to test how this impact may vary according to employees’ traditionality. Design/methodology/approach Dyadic data were collected from 261 employees and their supervisors. Results of the analyses offered support for the hypothesized moderated mediation model where group responsiveness and interactional justice would influence employee voice through enhanced organization-based self-esteem, and where such influence would be moderated by traditionality. Findings The findings showed that when there was a high level of group responsiveness, low traditionalists spoke up more, but when there was a high level of interactional justice, high traditionalists spoke up more. Originality/value By adopting the group engagement model, this study presented an alternative to the conventional perspective from uncertainty management theory about justice and voice, and tended to the neglect of fairness as an antecedent of voice by investigating how employees’ engagement in voice can be affected by their experience with different sources of procedural fairness information.
... Individuals are motivated to maintain consistency in their attitudes and behaviors, and they likely engage in actions that are consistent with their overall self-image (e.g., self-consistency theory; Korman, 1970). Followers with high OBSE believe they are valuable at work, and maintaining such a positive self-image can be an essential motivation and one of the most salient needs for them (Leary & Downs, 1995). Therefore, the need to maintain a positive OBSE at work drives employees to devote more time and energy in performing better. ...
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Based on social information processing theory, this study builds a multilevel model to explore the effects of humble leader behavior on performance in teams. Time-lagged and multi-source data were gathered from 298 employees across 70 work teams. Results supported our model such that at the individual level, humble leader behavior was positively related to individual performance via organization-based self-esteem; at the team level, humble leader behavior was positively related to team performance via team potency. Moreover, team cognitive diversity moderated the indirect effects of humble leader behavior on individual and team performances, such that the positive indirect effects were stronger for teams with high cognitive diversity than for those with low cognitive diversity. Implications and limitations are also discussed.
... The sociometer theory claims that the principle of the self-esteem system is to track the reactions of the audience with regards to a certain behaviour "I will keep a record of who liked it, and how many, and I'll smile harder when I see them." Therefore, self-esteem changes depending on the social approval or rejection (Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Leary & Downs, 1995), with positive feedback resulting in a feeling of social inclusion and negative feedback resulting in social rejection. ...
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The ever-growing use of Social Network Sites (SNS) has triggered this research into the exploration of the self-presentational goals and strategies of Maltese young people on their online profiles as well as the awareness of the implications of their posts. This qualitative study expands on previous research regarding self-presentation on social media to highlight how young people are using these arenas to manage their self-image in front of a large audience through selfies and posts on Instagram and Facebook. Young Maltese people ages 18-30, both male and female, were interviewed for the research and an examination of their online profiles conducted in the process. The conclusions drawn from the study are that young people are presenting themselves in a way that they think is appropriate for their viewers and their online posts are influenced by the feedback that they receive. More specifically, the findings imply that individuals tend to modify their self-image according to the expectations of the audience that is observing them and greatly rely on feedback as a source of confidence. The dissertation also makes a number of recommendations for further research.
... Steinberg et al. (2007) found that low levels of implicit self-esteem predicted clinically significant depression. Leary and Downs (1995) found a robust association between decrements of implicit self-esteem and high levels of anxiety. Research on attributions and implicit self-esteem strongly suggest that microaggressions have negative effects but these effects often involve processes that may not be apparent or salient to marginalized individuals (Steinberg et al., 2007;Spalding, 1998). ...
Article
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Asian Americans are commonly perceived as perpetual foreigners and, therefore, not “true” Americans. Asian Americans report inquiries about nationality and English abilities as the most common forms of racial microaggressions perpetrated by White Americans (Sue, 2015). Race theorists assert that these microaggressions are race-related and marginalize Asian Americans. Scholars have claimed that these subtle acts are harmful, yet only a few studies have uncovered the mechanisms by which racial microaggressions affect mental and physical well-being (Ong, Burrow, Fuller-Rowell, Ja, & Sue, 2013; Wong, Derthick, David, Saw, & Okazaki, 2013). The current study conceptualized racial microaggressions as a stressor to address the major gaps in research. Specifically, this study (a) experimentally tested the race-related nature of the microaggression event to determine whether a White American perpetrator would elicit more stress in Asian Americans compared to an Asian American perpetrator and (b) examined threats to explicit and implicit self-esteem as possible mediators of microaggression-generated stress. Findings confirmed that the race of the perpetrator did have an impact on stress among Asian Americans. In the multiple meditation analysis, experience with a White American perpetrator, compared to an Asian American perpetrator, lowered implicit self-esteem, which resulted in more stress. Implications and strategies for counseling Asian American clients are discussed.
... Interestingly, in this regard some theories argue that language evolved as a social bonding mechanism, allowing people to communicate about people not immediately present (Aiello & Dunbar, 1993). This underlines the social function of language and we have to keep in mind that most human beings desperately struggle to belong to a social group (Baumeister & Leary, 1995;Leary & Downs, 1995), as this seems to be biologically based and an evolutionary advantage to be part of a group. For instance, after events of social rejection our memory for social information is selectively enhanced (Gardner, Pickett, & Brewer, 2000). ...
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Language is a unique and core human ability. Language is abstract and arbitrary and yet it enables us to communicate with each other. Language allows communication and communication is inherently social. Communicating with and about others is of highest interest for humans, as humans are social beings. This is why receiving human feedback is often extremely emotional. Although we have an extensive knowledge about the neuronal bases of emotional language processing, there are only a few studies yet conducted to investigate socio-communicative influences on language processing. In my dissertation I examine the influence of a social communicative partner on emotional language processing. Three studies systematically manipulated the expertise and identity of putative interaction partners. These interaction partners gave feedback on positive, negative and neutral adjectives while a high-density Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. Actually, in all conditions random feedback was presented, thus a differential processing could only be attributed to sender characteristics. By means of event-related potentials (ERPs), the influence of sender characteristics, emotional content and their interaction was observed. In studies I and II - as a proof of principle - a 'human sender' was compared to a random computer (unequal expertise, unequal humanness). In this study, both feedback anticipation (study I) as well as feedback presentation was investigated (study II). In study III the 'human sender' was compared to a socially intelligent computer (similar expertise, unequal humanness). Eventually, in a fourth study a 'human expert' was compared to a 'layperson' and a random computer sender (unequal expertise, but the 'expert' and 'layperson' were both 'humans'). During anticipation of 'human' feedback, an extremely early enhanced general processing was found. On later stages a more intense processing of emotional adjectives was found in the 'human sender' condition. In general, effects during feedback presentation were substantially larger than during feedback anticipation. Here, large effects were found on early and late ERP components, for both human-generated and emotional feedback. Further, emotional feedback given by a 'human' was additionally amplified. Eventually, in study IV 'expert-feedback' was processed most intensely, followed by 'layperson-feedback' and finally 'computer-feedback'. Localization methods found enhanced sensory processing for 'human-generated' and emotional feedback. Studies III and IV showed additionally increased activations in somatosensory and frontal effects for 'human senders'. Overall, these experiments showed that not only emotional content but particularly also communicative context influences language processing. We automatically seem to take context factors into account when processing language. Here, 'expertise' results in an enhanced processing aldready on early and highly automatic stages, while supposed humanness seems to be of highest relevance: 'Human-generated' feedback led to enhanced processing in sensory, but also somatosensory and frontal areas. This shows that in human interactions language is amplified processed, which is especially true for emotional language. This dissertation shows for the first time that in realistic communicative settings (emotional) language processing is altered. Here, it seems that first sender information is processed, while emotional content affects later processing stages. The use of state of the art source localization methods enabled to get next to the extremely high temporal resolution (when something happens), a good and reliable spatial resolution (where something happens) of the cortical generator structures of the ERP effects.
... Meanwhile, vulnerable narcissists may engage in conspicuous consumption to obtain approval from others. Threats to self-esteem are likely to motivate approval-seeking behaviors (Leary & Downs, 1995). Compared with grandiose narcissists, vulnerable narcissists show lower levels of self-esteem (Miller et al., 2011) and they rely heavily on others' evaluations to regulate that self-esteem . ...
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The path from perspective-taking to prosocial behavior is not as straightforward or robust as it is often assumed to be. In some contexts imagining another person’s viewpoint leads the perspective taker to thoughts about how that person might have negative thoughts or intentions toward them. It can also prompt other kinds of counter-productive egocentric projection. In this review we consider how prosocial processes potentially stimulated by perspective-taking can be derailed in such contexts. We also identify methodological limitations in current (social-) psychological evidence for a causal link between perspective-taking and prosocial outcomes. Increased appreciation of factors moderating the path from perspective-taking to prosocial behavior can enhance the explanatory power of perspective-taking as social cognitive process.
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This study examined the mediating role of self‐esteem on the relationship between parental attachment security and social anxiety in children, separating maternal and paternal attachment. A total of 298 Korean children in 5th and 6th grade participated. Using structural equation modeling, results showed that the research model fit the data well and the mediating effects of self‐esteem were statistically significant. Self‐esteem fully mediated both relationships between maternal and paternal attachment security and social anxiety. This finding suggests the importance of maternal and paternal attachment security and self‐esteem as protective factors against social anxiety in children. Implications for practice and future research directions are discussed.
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Cyberbullying is the usage of computerized transmission to threaten an individual, typically by forwarding messages of an intimidating or menacing nature. Digital devices and electronic media have been a boon for humanity but have also resulted in the disadvantages of various cybercrimes, of which cyberbullying is the most prominent and one of the fastest growing. Cyberbullying in teens and adolescents has been proved to be a reason for various mental disorders, alterations in behaviour, and abuse. Bullying on digital platforms is one of the major issues of concern today. It is vital to keep a check on oneself to prevent cyberbullying and restrain its consequences.
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We conducted six studies to test our hypotheses that ostracism disrupts self-continuity and that self-affirmation counters ostracism’s negative influence on self-continuity. Participants who experienced more ostracism in their daily lives (Study 1), imagined being ostracized (Studies 2 and 5), recalled a past ostracism experience (Studies 3 and 6), and were ostracized in a ball-tossing game (Study 4) reported lower levels of self-continuity than their counterparts. Moreover, neither violations of expectation nor negativity of the experience was sufficient in decreasing self-continuity (Study 5). Finally, self-affirmation weakened the negative effect of ostracism on self-continuity (Study 6). Taken together, our findings provide converging causal evidence for our hypotheses and provide novel insights for the literature on how daily interpersonal interactions influence individuals’ sense of an enduring self. In addition, the moderation of self-affirmation reported in our research indicates an effective approach to diminishing the negative influence of ostracism.
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Link: http://hdl.handle.net/11370/6bf10e55-5652-41a9-871a-5a1b28620fa4 Self-esteem has come to be a hugely important concept in modern-day psychology. It is often investigated as a predictor for, or an outcome of, other psychological concepts – from academic success to relationship satisfaction. In the vast majority of these studies, it is approached as a variable, for which individuals have a score. In psychological research, therefore, self-esteem is most commonly approached as something that distinguishes individuals or groups from each other: Person A has high self-esteem, while Person B has low self-esteem, for example. But what exactly underlies these descriptions? More specifically, what is the nature and the origin of self-esteem? The current thesis aims to answer this question. Rather than answering it by approaching self-esteem as a single score that can be explained by various other variables, as is commonly done, the current thesis aims to unveil the processes that give rise to, and that characterize, the experience of self-esteem. In traditional self-esteem research, there is not just one ‘self-esteem variable’, however. Self-esteem can be categorized as being a trait or a state construct, and as an explicit and an implicit construct. This thesis therefore addresses the experience of these four self-esteem constructs specifically. In order to understand the nature and origin of self-esteem based on the processes that give rise to it, and that characterize it, a complex dynamic systems perspective is adopted. This perspective focuses on how interacting components change across time in order to form complex structures. In this thesis, it is suggested that self-esteem is such a structure. Moreover, it is posited that the self-esteem structure is comprised of three distinct, yet intertwined, sub-structures. These three sub-structures are referred to as the micro-, meso-, and macro-levels of self-esteem, which are distinguished from each other by the time scale across which the sub-structures are formed. It is suggested that the simplest structure of self-esteem is the micro-level: the positive and negative emotional-behavioral experiences that individuals have of themselves in the present moment. Next, at the meso level, state self-esteem occurs. Finally, at the macro level, trait self-esteem emerges. It is posited that these three levels are bi-directionally connected, and that this bi-directional relationship makes each level of self-esteem temporally dynamic, while also giving rise to temporal selfsameness. These propositions are described in the current thesis, creating a theoretical model, called the Self-Organizing Self-Esteem (SOSE) model. Based on this model, predictions are made regarding the dynamic nature of state self-esteem and trait self-esteem. In two separate chapters, these predictions are empirically tested based on observational data gathered from parent-adolescent interactions. These chapters provide evidence of the validity of the theoretical model, while revealing the underlying nature of self-esteem constructs during adolescence. Additionally, the nature and origin of implicit and explicit self-esteem is explored theoretically from the perspective of the proposed SOSE model. This thesis thus provides a theoretical framework, and the empirical validation thereof, upon which future studies can be based that focus on the intrinsic dynamics of self-esteem and its nested structure.
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A simple compliment can make someone’s day, start a new friendship, or just make the world a better, kinder place. So, why don’t people give more compliments? Perhaps people misforecast the effect their compliment will have. Five studies explored this possibility. In Studies 1a and 1b, compliment givers underestimated how positively the person receiving their compliment would feel, with consequences for their likelihood of giving a compliment. Compliment givers also overestimated how bothered and uncomfortable the recipient would feel (Study 2)—and did so even in hindsight (Study 3). Compliment givers’ own anxiety and concern about their competence led to their misprediction, whereas third-party forecasters were accurate (Study 4). Finally, despite compliment givers’ anxiety at the prospect of giving compliments across our studies, they felt better after having done so (Study 4). Our studies suggest that people misestimate their compliments’ value to others, and so they refrain from engaging in this prosocial behavior.
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This article explores self-esteem as an episodic self-conscious emotion. Episodic self-esteem is first distinguished from trait self-esteem, which is described as an enduring state related to the subject’s sense of self-worth. Episodic self-esteem is further compared with pride by claiming that the two attitudes differ in crucial respects. Importantly, episodic self-esteem—but not pride—is a function of social esteem: in episodic self-esteem, the subject evaluates herself in the same way in which others evaluate her. Furthermore, social esteem elicits episodic self-esteem if the values at the basis of the others’ evaluation are shared by the subject. Such sharing of values suggests that only the evaluations of those others that the subject frames as her in-group members are relevant to episodic self-esteem.
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Looking back through the research I have conducted on the need to belong, I discovered three unpublished projects that might be of interest . At the time, each of these projects needed follow-up work to replicate findings and resolve fuzziness in their results, yet each addressed unexplored questions, generated useful findings, and offers directions for future research. These projects involved distinguishing the effects of social exclusion and low relational value on reactions to rejection, the effects of darkness on the need to belong, and the effect of acceptance and rejection on interpersonal aspirations. Knowing that I will not be digging deeper into these ideas myself, I describe them here to put them on the record and possibly stimulate further research.
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Over three studies (i.e., two 2 × 2 experiments and a multi-source field study), we examine the relationship between abusive supervision, leader characteristics, and organizational inclusion on employee outcomes. Drawing on the group value theory of organizational justice and multiple needs theory of organizational justice, we argue that abusive supervision is counterproductive to making employees feel welcome. Specifically, we demonstrate that abusive supervision demoralizes employees’ feelings of organizational inclusion. Additionally, we draw upon research that suggests that the display of hostility inherent in abusive supervision can be perceived differently when it comes from a strategic versus impulsive source. We build upon this reasoning to examine and explain how leader characteristics might alter the effect of abusive supervision on organizational inclusion. More specifically, we suggest that leader political skill (i.e., strategic source) and leader neuroticism (i.e., impulsive source) act as moderators of the relationship between abusive supervision and organizational inclusion. We integrate organizational justice and inclusion theories to demonstrate that abusive supervision can be interpreted as an unwelcoming experience that ultimately has the ability to turn employees into poor organizational citizens (i.e., decrease engagement of OCBs) and future quitters (i.e., increase of turnover intentions). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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Group‐based guilt and shame are part of a wide range of moral emotions in intergroup conflicts. These emotions can potentially motivate group members to make compromises in order to promote conflict resolution, and increase support for reparations and apologies following moral transgressions committed by the in‐group. Thus, it is important to understand how to induce these emotions and the mechanisms for their effects. In the present paper, we examined the mechanisms underlying group‐based guilt and shame in four studies. Across the first three studies, conducted in the context of the Israeli‐Palestinian conflict, we found that group‐based guilt was mostly predicted by individuals’ implicit theories about groups (ITG). Specifically, we found that the more participants believed that groups are malleable, the more they experienced group‐based guilt. Group‐based shame, however, was found to be dependent upon individuals’ perception of other people’s perceptions about the malleability of groups (i.e., meta‐ITG), as the perceived damage to one’s in‐group image is a major component in experiencing shame. In Study 4, conducted in the context of gender relations, we differentiated between the two components of shame, that is, moral and image shame. As predicted, while group‐based guilt and moral shame showed similar patterns of results, meta‐ITG had a moderating effect on the association between ITG and group‐based image shame. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed in relation to promoting intergroup conflict resolution and reconciliation.
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The Big Two of agency and communion can be distinguished into the facets of agency‐assertiveness, agency‐competence, communion‐morality, and communion‐warmth. The present research studies how these facets are related to global evaluation of self versus others. In five studies we tested if self‐evaluation is reliably related to agency‐assertiveness (H1), and evaluation of others to communion‐morality (H2). Participants had to describe themselves (or a specific other person) on the facets and later to rate their self‐evaluation (or other‐evaluation). Supporting hypotheses, Studies 1, 3, and 4 showed that agency‐assertiveness was reliably related to self‐evaluation (Study 4: also agency‐competence). Studies 2 to 5 showed that communion‐morality was reliably related to evaluation of an acquaintance, but agency‐competence (studies 3 and 5) and communion‐warmth (Study 2) were also important. We conclude that supporting H1, agency‐assertiveness is particularly important for self‐evaluation, whereas partly supporting H2, evaluation of others is associated with communion‐morality, but also agency‐competence and communion‐warmth.
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Following ostracism, individuals are highly sensitive to social cues. Here we investigate whether and when minimal acknowledgment can improve need satisfaction following an ostracism experience. In four studies, participants were either ostracized during Cyberball (Studies 1 and 2) or through a novel apartment-application paradigm (Studies 3 and 4). To signal acknowledgement following ostracism, participants were either thrown a ball a few times at the end of the Cyberball game, or received a message that was either friendly, neutral, or hostile in the apartment-application paradigm. Both forms of acknowledgment increased need satisfaction, even when the acknowledgment was hostile (Study 4), emphasizing the beneficial effect of any kind of acknowledgment following ostracism. Reinclusion buffered threat immediately, whereas acknowledgment without reinclusion primarily aided recovery. Our results suggest that minimal acknowledgment such as a few ball throws or even an unfriendly message can reduce the sting of ostracism.
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Assessed the impact of outcome (success vs failure) and attribution (internal vs external) on affect in an achievement setting. Following the theorizing of B. Weiner et al (1978, 1979), it was anticipated that the outcome manipulation would determine general positive and negative affective reactions, whereas the attribution manipulation would influence affects related to self-esteem. 53 female undergraduates received success or failure feedback on a social accuracy test and were induced to attribute their performance to either an internal (ability) or an external cause (characteristics of the task). A factor analysis revealed 3 dimensions: Negative Affect, Positive Affect, and Self-Esteem. ANOVA indicated that the nature of the attribution influenced all 3 forms of affective reactions. Success produced greater positive affect, less negative affect, and higher self-esteem than failure only when ability attributions were induced. Although additional analyses offered some support for the presence of affects influenced solely by outcome, the majority of analyses supported the notion that attributions are the primary determinants of affective reactions to success and failure. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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Three studies asked why people sometimes seek positive feedback (self-enhance) and sometimes seek subjectively accurate feedback (self-verify). Consistent with self-enhancement theory, people with low self-esteem as well as those with high self-esteem indicated that they preferred feedback pertaining to their positive rather than negative self-views. Consistent with self-verification theory, the very people who sought favorable feedback pertaining to their positive self-conceptions sought unfavorable feedback pertaining to their negative self-views, regardless of their level of global self-esteem. Apparently, although all people prefer to seek feedback regarding their positive self-views, when they seek feedback regarding their negative self-views, they seek unfavorable feedback. Whether people self-enhance or self-verify thus seems to be determined by the positivity of the relevant self-conceptions rather than their level of self-esteem or the type of person they are. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Discusses getting along and getting ahead from the perspective of Hogan's socioanalytic theory of self-presentation and social behavior; development of role playing and self-concept; shyness and loneliness. [ Hogan, R., Jones, W.H., & Cheek, J.M. (1985). Socioanalytic theory: An alternative to armadillo psychology. In B.R. Schlenker (Ed.), The self and social life (pp. 175-198). New York: McGraw-Hill. ]
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We tested the hypothesis that low self-esteem persons use self-presentation to improve their affect. In Experiments 1–3, Ss high in self-esteem (HSE) and low in self-esteem (LSE) responded publicly or privately to positive or negative feedback from a computer "personality test" (Experiments 1 and 2) or from a peer (Experiment 3). In public, LSE Ss complimented positive sources and derogated negative sources more than their counterparts did. Experiment 2 showed that this was not due to another person's awareness of the feedback, ruling out a strict impression management interpretation. In Experiment 4, some Ss were coaxed to compliment the source of feedback and others were coaxed to derogate the source of feedback. When publicly complimenting positive feedback or derogating negative feedback, LSE Ss generally showed a rise in esteem relative to their counterparts. Based on these findings, a model of affect regulation in interpersonal relations is proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A 2-process theory of human information processing is proposed and applied to detection, search, and attention phenomena. Automatic processing is activation of a learned sequence of elements in long-term memory that is initiated by appropriate inputs and then proceeds automatically--without S control, without stressing the capacity limitations of the system, and without necessarily demanding attention. Controlled processing is a temporary activation of a sequence of elements that can be set up quickly and easily but requires attention, is capacity-limited (usually serial in nature), and is controlled by the S. A series of studies, with approximately 8 Ss, using both reaction time and accuracy measures is presented, which traces these concepts in the form of automatic detection and controlled search through the areas of detection, search, and attention. Results in these areas are shown to arise from common mechanisms. Automatic detection is shown to develop following consistent mapping of stimuli to responses over trials. Controlled search was utilized in varied-mapping paradigms, and in the present studies, it took the form of serial, terminating search. (60 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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We used self-awareness and cognitive priming methodologies to test the hypothesis that important aspects of the experience of self derive from the way one would be perceived and responded to by a private audience of internally represented significant others. In the first study, 40 undergraduate women visualized the faces of either two acquaintances from campus or two older members of their own family. Later, when they rated the enjoyableness of a sexually permissive piece of fiction, they tended to respond in ways that would be acceptable to their salient private audience. There was some evidence that this effect was especially pronounced for subjects made self-aware by the presence of a small mirror, whose responsivity to self-image concerns was presumably heightened. In the second study, 60 undergraduate men were exposed to a failure experience, and their resulting self-evaluations were assessed. Self-aware subjects' responses reflected the evaluative style of a recently visualized private audience. Strong negative self-evaluative reactions on a number of measures were evident when the salient audience tended to make acceptance contingent on successful performances, but not when the audience manifested relatively noncontingent acceptance. These results demonstrate the influence of internally represented significant relationships on the experience of self. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Although several psychological theories predict that members of stigmatized groups should have low global self-esteem, empirical research typically does not support this prediction. It is proposed here that this discrepancy may be explained by considering the ways in which membership in a stigmatized group may protect the self-concept. It is proposed that members of stigmatized groups may (a) attribute negative feedback to prejudice against their group, (b) compare their outcomes with those of the ingroup, rather than with the relatively advantaged outgroup, and (c) selectively devalue those dimensions on which their group fares poorly and value those dimensions on which their group excels. Evidence for each of these processes and their consequences for self-esteem and motivation is reviewed. Factors that moderate the use of these strategies and implications of this analysis for treatment of stigmas are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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(from the chapter) the focus . . . concerns the relation between global self-esteem and the use of self-serving biases / review this literature [on self-serving biases], identifying the types of biases that are shown by people high and low in self-esteem and the circumstances under which they are susceptible to these biases / argue that the apparently contradictory results regarding self-esteem and self-serving biases can be understood by considering the motivational and cognitive aspects of the self-concepts of high and low self-esteem individuals (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (chapter)
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This study examined the interrelations among a multidimensional self-report measure of social skills/competence, the Social Skills Inventory, and measures of self-esteem, social anxiety, locus of control, loneliness, and well-being. One hundred and twenty-one undergraduate volunteers completed a battery of self-report measures of these constructs. As expected, correlational analyses revealed that social skills was positively correlated with self-esteem, and negatively correlated with social anxiety and loneliness. Contrary to prediction, total score on the Social Skills Inventory was not significantly correlated with either the locus of control or general well-being measure. However, all of the various measures, with the exception of locus of control, appeared to share a common dimension—one that might be labeled a sense of ‘social self-efficacy’.
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This chapter discusses social behavior through self-evaluation maintenance (SEM) model. It describes several studies to provide a feel for the kind of research that has been completed in an attempt to explore the predictions of the model. The SEM model is composed of two dynamic processes. Both the reflection process and the comparison process have as component variables the closeness of another and the quality of that other's performance. These two variables interact in affecting self-evaluation but do so in quite opposite ways in each of the processes Model establishes the comprehensiveness of the research and the interactive quality of its predictions. Next, the SEM model is fit into the perspective of related work, including self-theories, social comparison theory, and Cialdini's BIRGing research. The chapter reviews the epistemological status of the model. It discusses some of the implications of the research for a variety of areas in psychology.
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Throughout the past few thousand years, historical accounts, philosophical treatises, and works of fiction and poetry have often depicted humans as having a need to perceive themselves as good, and their actions as moral and justified. Within the last hundred years, a number of important figures in the development of modern psychology have also embraced this notion that people need self-esteem (e.g., Adler, 1930; Allport, 1937; Homey, 1937; James, 1890; Maslow, 1970; Murphy, 1947; Rank, 1959; Rogers, 1959; Sullivan, 1953). Of these, Karen Homey most thoroughly discussed the ways people try to attain and maintain a favorable self-image. The clinical writings of Horney, and other psychotherapists as well, document the ways in which people attempt to defend and enhance self-esteem; they also suggest that difficulty maintaining self-esteem, and maladaptive efforts to do so, may be central to a variety of mental health problems. In this chapter, we will first review the research supporting the existence of a need for self-esteem. Then we will present a theory that accounts for this need and specifies the role it plays in a variety of phenomena including self-presentation.
Article
Presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from 4 principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Factors influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arise from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. (21/2 p ref)
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John Vasconcellos, Foreword Andrew Mecca, Preface Neil J. Smelser, Self-Esteem and Society Bonnie Bhatti, David Derezotes, Seung Ock Kim, and Harry Specht, The Association between Child Maltreatment and Self-Esteem Martin V. Covington, Self-Esteem and School Failure: Analysis and Policy Implications Susan Crockenberg and Barbara Soby, Self-Esteem and Adolescent Pregnancy Thomas J. Scheff, Suzanne M. Retzinger, and Michael Ryan, Crime, Violence, and Self-Esteem Leonard Schneiderman, Self-Esteem and Chronic Welfare Dependency Rodney Skager and Elizabeth Kerst, Psychological Research and Theory on the Relationship between Self-Esteem and Alcohol and Other Drug Use Harry Kitano, Alcohol, Drug Use, and Self-Esteem: A Sociocultural Perspective
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Self-affirmation processes are being activated by information that threatens the perceived adequacy or integrity of the self and as running their course until this perception is restored through explanation, rationalization, and/or action. The purpose of these constant explanations (and rationalizations) is to maintain a phenomenal experience of the self-self-conceptions and images as adaptively and morally adequate—that is, as competent, good, coherent, unitary, stable, capable of free choice, capable of controlling important outcomes, and so on. The research reported in this chapter focuses on the way people cope with the implications of threat to their self-regard rather than on the way they cope with the threat itself. This chapter analyzes the way coping processes restore self-regard rather than the way they address the provoking threat itself.
Article
Explores the hypothesis that alcohol use and underachievement may serve as strategies to externalize the causation of poor performance and to internalize the causation of good performance. Such a strategy may be prominently used especially by those who have a precarious but not entirely negative sense of self-competence. The etiology of this strategic preference may follow either of two scenarios. The child may attach desperate importance to this competence image because competence is the condition for deserving parental love. Or the child may have been rewarded for accidental attributes or performances that do not predict future success, thus leaving him in a position of one who has reached a status he fears he cannot maintain through his own control. The linkage of alcohol appeal to underachievement strategies is stressed; both are seen as expressions of the same overconcern with competence.
Article
Discusses the interpersonal motivations associated with different levels of self-esteem (SE). Although SE refers to an intrapsychic attitude, SE scales often measure self-presentational orientation. High SE scores are associated with a tendency to present one's self in a self-enhancing fashion characterized by willingness to accept risks, focus on outstandingly good qualities, strategic ploys, and calling attention to one's self. Low SE scores are associated with a tendency to present one's self in a self-protective fashion characterized by unwillingness to accept risks, focus on avoiding outstandingly bad qualities, avoidance of strategic ploys, and reluctance to draw attention to one's self. Evidence shows that most people rate themselves as above average on SE scales. Measures emphasizing social SE may be more sensitive to interpersonal and self-presentational issues than nonsocial SE measures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Text: book; for students in introductory-level courses in psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, and ethology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Results of 2 experiments with a total of 221 housewives support the prediction that name-calling, by conveying a negative judgment, would enhance Ss' willingness to comply and their actual compliance with a later request for help. Negative names produced more compliance behavior than positive names. Also, whether or not the negative name was related to the help request made no difference in the percentage of Ss who agreed to comply. Exp II also demonstrated that it was the name's impugnment of the S's general character and not its impugnment of a specific behavior that was needed to increase later compliance. Implications for experiments using negative judgments as independent variable manipulations and for the relationship between self-esteem and consistency processes are discussed. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Investigated the impact of task importance on the causal attributions for success and failure on a bogus social-perceptiveness task which was given to 52 undergraduates. Consistent with previous research, Ss assumed more personal responsibility for success than failure. Moreover, the more valid and important the social-perceptiveness test was presented as being, the more pronounced was the effect of outcome on the Ss' attributions. Results favor a motivational as opposed to an information-processing explanation of asymmetries in causal attribution. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
High- and low-self-esteem participant and observer (control) Ss received feedback about the performance of in-groups and out-groups. Self-evaluations and evaluations of the groups were assessed. Results suggest that participant group members (vs observers) enhance evaluations of both groups under conditions of failure feedback. Intergroup bias was obtained over and above these effects for participant high-self-esteem Ss. However, participant low-self-esteem Ss favored failing out-groups. Results suggest that individuals with different levels of self-esteem may differ in terms of their inferred status within groups. Intragroup comparisons may then influence one's choice of group for social identification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In Study I, 53 female undergraduates high and low in general self-esteem (Self-Description Inventory and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale) performed a series of anagrams on which they either appeared to succeed or fail or received little evaluative feedback. Their persistence at a subsequent set of anagrams was assessed. Following initial failure, low self-esteem Ss persisted less than high self-esteem Ss. Low self-esteem Ss who had failed also performed more poorly on the 2nd set of items than did those who had succeeded. Study II, using a similar procedure with 84 Ss, indicated that the lowered persistence of low general-self-esteem Ss occurred only when their initial failure had been consistent across trials and not when they had shown some improvement. Study II also demonstrated that general self-esteem related more strongly to persistence and performance differences than did task-specific self-esteem. Conceptual and pragmatic implications of the findings are discussed. (35 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This is a comprehensive treatment of the subject, embracing the definition of personality and a history of characterology; a consideration of such fundamental concepts as heredity, growth, the self, the transformation of motives ("functional autonomy") and maturity; the structure of personality with special reference to traits, their specificity and consistency; methods of investigation, including psychography, rating, testing and experimental procedures; and the general problem of understanding personality through judgment, inference and intuition. These topics are discussed historically, expositionally and critically. The chief thesis of the work is the uniqueness of the individual. Supporting concepts are the consistency of traits and the functional autonomy (contemporaneousness) of motives. The author attempts, however, "to respect the many-sidedness of the subject-matter of this new science." Thorough documentation assists in this direction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
the social origins of embarrassment / gender differences in embarrassment / functions of subjective embarrassment [socialization, social control, self-regulation] / embarrassment displays [nonverbal behavior, verbal remediation] / the evolutionary significance of embarrassment / emotions as social phenomena (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two studies evaluated theoretical models of how global self-esteem is related to self-perceptions, importance, certainty, and actual–ideal discrepancies in specific domains. Study 1 supported differentially weighting specific domains; global school esteem was substantially more correlated with self-perceptions in core school Ss than in noncore Ss. Neither study, however, supported individually weighting specific domains according to importance, certainty, actual–ideal discrepancies, or profile similarity components for each individual. For example, whereas one specific domain may be more important than others across all individuals, its effect does not vary for individuals who judge the domain as more or less important. This distinction is clarified by an extension of H. W. Marsh's (see record 1987-13150-001) generalized multiple regression approach used to test theoretical predictions based on weighted average models. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Conducted 2 experiments to test predictions derived from E. Goffman (see record 1956-04343-001) and from 2 models of compliance behavior in studying embarrassed individuals' actions toward persons involved in the embarrassing situation and toward others unaware of the incident. Exp I with 48 male undergraduates showed that embarrassed Ss complied more with a request for help than did unembarrassed Ss or controls. In Exp II (the main study) 60 female undergraduates performed tasks that did or did not make them look foolish to an observer. Their help was then requested by either the observer or a nonobserver. Results indicate that embarrassed Ss complied more with the request for help than did unembarrassed Ss (p < .02) regardless of the source of the request. Results are consistent with the compliance model that embarrassed individuals seek the positive experience of helping someone in order to relieve the discomfort of their embarrassment. No support was found for predictions derived from Goffman or from the other model of compliance behavior. (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
This article describes 2 studies testing hypotheses that perceived social support operates in part as a cognitive personality construct. Both studies found that perceived support manifested a pattern of correlations more similar to cognitive variables than did support received from the environment and that the relation between perceived support and psychological distress was reduced substantially when the cognitive personality variables were controlled statistically. Study 2 also tested hypotheses generated from schema theory that perceived support would be related to the interpretation and recall of novel supportive behaviors. As predicted, low-perceived-support students interpreted novel supportive behaviors more negatively than high-support students and remembered a lower proportion of behaviors perceived as helpful. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Employing a new self-report technique (paging devices), this study assessed the self-feelings of 35 adolescents (mean age 13.3 yrs) in various naturalistic contexts. Regression analysis was used to assess the stability of self-feelings. Ss fell into 3 groups: stable, oscillating, and unpredictable (the largest). For the sample as a whole, self-feelings were not influenced by the immediate context, although specific settings, activities, and others present within the contexts elicited various levels of self-feelings. More crucial for predicting the self-feelings were such enduring characteristics as sex, social class, pubertal maturation, stability group, birth order, and number of siblings. The authors argue for a baseline conceptualization of adolescent self-conception from which fluctuations occur. (44 ref)
Article
This article examines the measurement of short-lived (i.e., state) changes in self-esteem. A new scale is introduced that is sensitive to manipulations designed to temporarily alter self-esteem, and 5 studies are presented that support the scale's validity. The State Self-Esteem Scale (SSES) consists of 20 items modified from the widely used Janis-Field Feelings of Inadequacy Scale (Janis & Field, 1959). Psychometric analyses revealed that the SSES has 3 correlated factors: performance, social, and appearance self-esteem. Effects of naturally occurring and laboratory failure and of clinical treatment on SSES scores were examined; it was concluded that the SSES is sensitive to these sorts of manipulations. The scale has many potential uses, which include serving as a valid manipulation check index, measuring clinical change in self-esteem, and untangling the confounded relation between mood and self-esteem.
Article
Baumeister and Tice's (this issue) social exclusion theory of anxiety proposes that a primary source of anxiety is perceived exclusion from important social groups. This article elaborates the basic propositions of social exclusion theory, then applies the theory to a broader analysis of affective reactions to exclusion. Specifically, the article examines the relationship between perceived social exclusion and social anxiety, jealousy, loneliness, and depression. The function of self-esteem and its role in moderating reactions to perceived exclusion are also discussed.
Article
A definition of romantic jealousy as a complex of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors resulting from threats to one's self-esteem and/or relationship is developed. A variety of potential correlates of romantic jealousy consistent with this definition were identified. The predictive power of these correlates was assessed via regression analyses of 150 romantically involved couples' responses to scales measuring these correlates. The results suggest that for both sexes jealousy is positively related to exclusivity and feelings of inadequacy as a partner. For males, jealousy was also positively related to sex role traditionalism and the degree of dependence of self-esteem upon partners' evaluations, and negatively related to chronic esteem. For females, jealousy was positively related to dependence on the relationship. Effects of dating stage and sex on the correlates are also presented. The findings are discussed from the standpoint of primary appraisal perception of threat (Lazarus, Averill, & Opton, 1970).
Article
Past research has found the performance of persons with high self-esteem to improve after failure, especially on tasks for which persistence correlates positively with performance. However, persistence may be nonproductive in some situations. Experiment 1 used a task for which persistence and performance were uncorrelated; subjects high in self-esteem persisted longer but performed worse than did those with low self-esteem, particularly after prior failure feedback. Experiment 2 tested whether differential sensitivity to advice about the efficacy of persistence mediates nonproductive persistence. High self-esteem subjects who received explicit advice against nonproductive persistence on a puzzle-solving task still tended to persist longer on unsolvable puzzles than did low self-esteem subjects. The implications of high self-esteem subjects' tendency to engage in nonproductive persistence are discussed.
Article
It was proposed that a person's momentary self-esteem affects his receptivity to the affection offered by another. People whose self-esteem was temporarily low were expected to like an affectionate, accepting other more than those whose self-esteem was momentarily high.An experimental study was conducted to test this proposal. The selfesteem of one half of the Ss was raised by giving them false personality information; the self-esteem of the other half of the Ss was lowered by the same technique. Women then rated a male confederate, who had earlier asked them for a date. The Ss in the low self-esteem condition expressed significantly more liking for the confederate than did Ss in the high self-esteem condition.The relationship between “stable” (or measured) self-esteem and liking for others was also discussed.
Article
Affect is considered by most contemporary theories to be postcognitive, that is, to occur only after considerable cognitive operations have been accomplished. Yet a number of experimental results on preferences, attitudes, impression formation, and decision making, as well as some clinical phenomena, suggest that affective judgments may be fairly independent of, and precede in time, the sorts of perceptual and cognitive operations commonly assumed to be the basis of these affective judgments. Affective reactions to stimuli are often the very first reactions of the organism, and for lower organisms they are the dominant reactions. Affective reactions can occur without extensive perceptual and cognitive encoding, are made with greater confidence than cognitive judgments, and can be made sooner. Experimental evidence is presented demonstrating that reliable affective discriminations (like–dislike ratings) can be made in the total absence of recognition memory (old–new judgments). Various differences between judgments based on affect and those based on perceptual and cognitive processes are examined. It is concluded that affect and cognition are under the control of separate and partially independent systems that can influence each other in a variety of ways, and that both constitute independent sources of effects in information processing. (139 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Discusses R. S. Lazarus's (see PA, Vols 69:11728 and 25:2812) challenge of the view that there are circumstances under which affect precedes cognition and that affective arousal that does not entail prior cognitive appraisal exists. His argument, however, is based entirely on an arbitrary definition of emotion that requires cognitive appraisal as a necessary precondition. To satisfy this concept of emotion, Lazarus has broadened the definition of cognitive appraisal to include even the most primitive forms of sensory excitation, thus obliterating all distinction among cognition, sensation, and perception. No empirical evidence is offered to document the principle of cognitive appraisal as a necessary precondition for emotional arousal. It is concluded that the contrasting view of an affective primacy and independence is derived from a series of findings and phenomena, including the existence of neuroanatomical structures allowing for independent affective process. (56 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The 3 major self-evaluation motives were compared: self-assessment (people pursue accurate self-knowledge), self-enhancement (people pursue favorable self-knowledge), and self-verification (people pursue highly certain self-knowledge). Ss considered the possession of personality traits that were either positive or negative and either central or peripheral by asking themselves questions that varied in diagnosticity (the extent to which the questions could discriminate between a trait and its alternative) and in confirmation value (the extent to which the questions confirmed possession of a trait). Ss selected higher diagnosticity questions when evaluating themselves on central positive rather than central negative traits and confirmed possession of their central positive rather than central negative traits. The self-enhancement motive emerged as the most powerful determinant of the self-evaluation process, followed by the self-verification motive.
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.