The Factors of Psychology Affecting the Self Esteem of Different People

Topics: Self-esteem, Mental disorder, Sociology Pages: 7 (2067 words) Published: August 13, 2008
I.Self esteem of overweight people

a)Looking–glass self:
The looking glass self concept refers to how we are shaped by what others perceive us as. Non-overweight people will be satisfied with their lives since others perception of them will be positive. However, people who are noticeably overweight will not be as satisfied as non-overweight people since what others perception of them will be negative. If others perceive overweight people to be outcasts, then that is what overweight people will feel as since they will not be socially accepted in front of the world. Therefore, overweight people will develop a low self-esteem since they will be criticized for their appearance and overall composure. There fore, it is the truth that, “some overweight people do experience difficulties in terms of self-esteem” (El Harvey and AJ Hill). That is why overweight non-overweight people respond differently towards the environment since they, “may use their body self-image as a reference point for rating their own behavior” (Lechner, Bolman, Van Dijke).

b)Upward social comparison:
Upward social comparison can create positive or negative reactions. Overweight people who are jealous of those more physically active than them will have a low self-esteem because they will want to achieve what normal weight people have achieved. “Perhaps the tendency to compare oneself to others possessing the thin ideal is the main source for the negative effects produced by the exposure to thin ideal media” (Gayle R. Bessenoff). Overweight people who are motivated by those that are more physically active than them will have a high self esteem because they will be encouraged to do better and live a better live like the normal weight people. “However, upward comparisons may also serve to enhance the selves by eliciting behaviors to improve oneself” (Higgins). Both reactions create comparisons with the “superior” as the media calls it and creates a sense of different social levels in the world.

c)Downward social comparison:
Downward social comparison creates positive reactions for overweight people. When overweight people compare themselves with someone who is less physically active than them, they create a high self-esteem because they feel there are other people that find overweight people socially desirable. Also they feel superior and a sense of pride that at least someone does look up to them. “It has been suggested that people with misperception more often use downward comparison and more often compare themselves with people who behave less healthy” (Lechner, Bolman, Van Dijke). Another reason that overweight people use downward comparison is to feel more successful in goals. It gives a sense of victory because they achieve what other people could not.

d)Impression management:
Self presentation is very important for overweight people who want to make a good impression. Self enhancement for overweight people happens when you boost your positive appeal to make yourself look better. Overweight people make the effort lose weight and dress up better to be the best in other peoples’ eyes. This happens because “people are motivated to maintain their efforts not by their expectations about future outcomes but by their satisfaction with outcomes afforded by their current behaviors” (Jeffery, Linde, Finch, Rothman, King,). Overweight people use this tool to hide their obesity in front of others and instead show their courage and motivation to the world.

e)Self serving attributional bias:
Over weight people create a self-serving bias which means that they attribute all their negative qualities to external factors and positive qualities to internal factors. “You take personal credit for your success, and blame external forces to your failure” (Mimicker). For example, overweight celebrities will always take the credit for their weight loss and how beautiful they look. However, when papers talk...
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