High Self Esteem Essay

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‘It is good for a person to have a high level of self-esteem.’ Critically discuss.

Self-esteem has captivated the interest of psychological researchers and the whole of society. “This academic preoccupation is substantially matched by interest among the public at large, and not just among those people, doctors, teachers and social workers who might be expected to show a professional interest in the human psyche. In their everyday lives people routinely treat the notion of self-esteem as an intelligible basis for explaining their own difficulties or other’s failings.” (Emler 2001) High self-esteem is seen as something that every individual should aspire to as much as the
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According to (Mead 1934) symbolic interactionism, a process where individuals respond to themselves dependent on the attitudes of the main figures in their lives. As such, low self-esteem develops when individuals are devalued or rejected by these main figures surrounding them. A study in relation to reactions to social feedback, found that individuals with high self-esteem perceived social acceptance, even after having been personally rejected by their peers. Conversely, low-self esteem individuals perceived social rejection even after being told they were personally accepted. Here we see that high and low self-esteem people are seen as equally likeable under neutral conditions (Nezlek et al 1997). Later perspectives such as (Rosenberg 1965) argues that it is very important to assess how individuals think they are viewed by the main people in their lives such as family and peer groups. Others have concentrated on what is considered the norms and values of the societies and cultures where individuals are brought up, for example it was argued that some individuals experience collective self-esteem as they base their self-esteem on their social identities as belonging to certain groups (Luhtanen & Crocker 1992). Therefore by identifying with a certain group the status and prestige of the group can attach to one’s self-concept. For example, if an individual identified with and showed support for the
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