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Am Psychol. 2008 Jan;63(1):64-5; discussion 65-6. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.1.64.

Is the allure of self-esteem a mirage after all?

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Department of Psychology, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Comments on the original article "Do people's self-views matter? Self-concept and self-esteem in everyday life," by W. B. Swann, Jr., C. Chang-Schneider, and K. L. McClarty. Swann et al argued that people's self-views, and their global self-esteem in particular, yield a suite of behavioral effects that are beneficial to the individual and to society at large. The Swann et al article is the latest link in a debate on the causal utility of self-esteem. Specifically, the article is a reply to a report published by the American Psychological Society Task Force on Self-Esteem (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2003). As members of that task force, the current authors wish to express their broad agreement with Swann et al. At the same time, in the comment presented here, they clarify pockets of disagreement.

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