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| Self-esteem is a term in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent", "I am worthy") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. 'The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, the positive or negative evaluation of the self, is how we feel about it'. A person’s self-concept consists of the beliefs one has about oneself, one’s self-perception, or, as Hamlyn (1983: 241) expresses it, "the picture of oneself". Baumeister (1997) described self-concept as total perception which people hold about him/ herself (p. 681). It is not the "facts" about one-self but rather what one believes to be true about one-self (Sarah Mercer, p. 14). Early researchers used self-concept as a descriptive construct, such as ‘I am an athlete’ (Rosenberg 1979). Recent theories adapted self-esteem with more evaluative statements like ‘I am good at tennis’ (Harter 1996). The latter statement not only describes the self, as the individual identifies herself or himself, but evaluates the self by putting worthiness on it. Therefore, self-esteem is defined as both descriptive and evaluative self-related statements. As a social psychological construct, self-esteem is attractive because researchers have conceptualized it as an influential predictor of relevant outcomes, such as academic achievement (Marsh 1990) or exercise behavior (Hagger et al. 1998). In addition, self-esteem has also been treated as an important outcome due to its close relation with psychological well-being (Marsh 1989). Self-concept (i.e. self-esteem) is widely believed to be composed of more than just perceived competence, and this leads to the relative degree of evaluative and cognitive beliefs of the construct. Self-esteem is viewed as the most evaluative and affective of the three constructs (Harter, 1999a). Overlay, self-concept is considered as the beliefs about perceived competence and self-evaluative in a specific domain. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good writer and I feel happy about that") or have global extent (for example, "I believe I am a bad person, and feel bad about myself in general"). Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic ("trait" self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations ("state" self-esteem) also exist. Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth, self-regard, self-respect, and self-integrity. According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, "self-love" is "the instinct or desire to promote one's well-being"; while La Rochefoucauld considered 'that amour-propre (self-regard) is the mainspring of all human activities'. Contents [hide] * 1 Definitions * 2 Measurement * 3 Positive self-esteem * 3.1 Importance * 4 Low self-esteem * 5 Theories * 6 Grades and relationships * 7 Parental influence * 8 Criticism and controversy * 9 False stereotypes * 9.1 Comfort is not self-esteem * 9.2 Self-esteem and culture * 9.3 High self-esteem is not necessarily narcissistic * 10 In Buddhism * 11 History * 12 See also * 13 Notes * 14 References * 15 Further reading * 16 External links
The original normal definition presents self-esteem as a ratio found by dividing one’s successes in areas of life of importance to a given individual by the failures in them or one’s "success / pretensions". Problems with this approach come from making self-esteem contingent upon success: this implies inherent instability because failure can...
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