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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1989 Oct;57(4):672-80.

From self-conceptions to self-worth: on the sources and structure of global self-esteem.

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  • 1University of Texas, Austin.


Three factors were identified that uniquely contribute to people's global self-esteem: (a) people's tendencies to experience positive and negative affective states, (b) people's specific self-views (i.e., their conceptions of their strengths and weaknesses), and (c) the way people frame their self-views. Framing factors included the relative certainty and importance of people's positive versus negative self-views and the discrepancy between people's actual and ideal self-views. The contribution of importance to people's self-esteem, however, was qualified in 2 ways. First, importance contributed only to the self-esteem of those who perceived that they had relatively few talents. Second, individuals who saw their positive self-views as important were especially likely to be high in self-esteem when they were also highly certain of these positive self-views. The theoretical and therapeutic implications of these findings are discussed.

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