Self-Concept vs Self-Esteem Two Theories Term Paper

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Subject: Psychology
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #73341270

Excerpt from Term Paper :


Success over pretensions equals self-esteem." Albrecht (Ibid) cites that William James (1890) formulated the "simple" equation. Self-esteem, according to some psychologists qualifies as an answer for numerous individual and societal concerns. Regarding this contention and accumulated self-esteem research, Roy Baumeister, psychologist and professor, commissioned to survey American Psychological Society literature on self-esteem, determines: "These studies show not only that self-esteem fails to accomplish what we had hoped, but also that it can backfire and contribute to some of the very problems it was thought to thwart." He contends that self-esteem stems from, does not cause, of good schoolwork. Enhancing self-esteem is therefore a waste of time in the pursuit of health and well-being, Baumeister writes. ("Self-Esteem Causes..., 2006)

Alana Conner Snibbe, the Review's senior editor noted that Baumeister's article titled, "Rethinking Self-Esteem: Why Nonprofits Should Stop Pushing Self-Esteem and Start Endorsing Self-Control,'" triggered heated controversy among Stanford Social Innovation Review readers. Some agreed that self-esteem "hype" needed to be deflated, while an equal amount of responses strongly disagreed. Baumeister, nevertheless, continues to argue that self-control, not sell-esteem currently promises to be the most promising human strength. (Ibid)

Self-esteem, noted by Cast (2002), to be a primary focus for social psychology, routinely conceptualized as a part of the self-concept, is considered by some to be one of the self-concept's most vital components. Cast (Ibid) suggests that self-verification contributes to the motivation or organization of a person's behavior. Self-esteem also factors into the process. Cast (Ibid) also stresses that self-esteem does not merely stem from self-verification. Self-esteem garnered by self-verification.".. serves an important protective function for the self by directly and indirectly reducing the amount of stress individuals experience when they are unable to verify important self-meanings."

Material/Situational Model of Self-Esteem

Steffenhagen (1990, pp.16-17) explains that the mental format points of the triangle include: status, courage, and social flexibility. Points of the triangle superimposed over this triangle consist of self-concept, self-image, and social-concept. This "Star of David" serves as a.".." functional model for evaluating self-esteem quantitatively."

III. Win...Lose or Tie?

Of the two concepts, this researcher posits, self-enhancement theories, when compared to self-verification theories, are in a sense, to a point in particular situations, correct. Self-verification theories, on the other hand, in varying circumstances, appear to be even more correct. Benefits which stem from self-verification do not require interventions generated from outside a person. (Swann, 2002) Self-verification could perhaps be aptly mirrored by paraphrasing this paper's initial quote by Epictetus (Ibid): Tell yourself on the inside."...what you would be; and then do (on the outside) what you have to do."


Albrecht, K. (2002, November). Brain Power: People Can Be Trained to Use Their Brains More Effectively for Creativity, Problem Solving, and Other Thinking. T&D, 56, 38+.

Bartlett, John, comp. Familiar Quotations, 10th ed, rev. And enl. By Nathan Haskell Dole. Boston: Little, Brown, 1919;, 2000.

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Blackburn, Simon. "Epictetus," the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, January 1, 1996.

Cast, Alicia D., & Burke, Peter J. (March 2002)a theory of self-esteem Social Forces, 80, p1041(28).

Escovar, Luis. "The effects of assessment feedback on rapport-building and self-enhancement processes. (Research).," Journal of Mental Health Counseling, July 1, 2003.

Eshel, Yohanan. "Self-enhancement, generality level of self-evaluation, and emotional adjustment.," the Journal of Social Psychology, October 1, 1998.

King, Keith a.. "Self-concept and self-esteem: a clarification of terms.," Journal of School Health, February 1, 1997.

Self-Esteem Causes More Problems Than it Solves, Argues Controversial Article in Stanford Social Innovation Review.," Business Wire, March 1, 2006.

Steffenhagen, R.A. (1990). Self-Esteem Therapy. New York: Praeger Publishers.

Minton, Sandra. "An Analysis and Comparison of Research Investigating the Effects of Dance on the Self-Concept and Self-Esteem of the Participants.(Brief Article)," Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, March 1, 2000.

Sexton, Janel D.. "Social connectedness, social appraisal, and perceived stress in college women and men.(Statistical Data Included)," Journal of Counseling and Development, June 22, 2002.

Stukas, Arthur a.. "The effects of feedback self-consistency, therapist status, and attitude toward therapy on reaction to personality feedback.," the Journal of Social Psychology, August 1, 2006.

Swann, William B., Jr.. "Capitalizing on diversity: interpersonal congruence in small work groups.," Administrative Science Quarterly, June 1, 2002.

Self-Concept vs. Self-Esteem

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