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      Contingencies of self-worth.

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      Psychological Review
      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          Research on self-esteem has focused almost exclusively on level of trait self-esteem to the neglect of other potentially more important aspects such as the contingencies on which self-esteem is based. Over a century ago, W. James (1890) argued that self-esteem rises and falls around its typical level in response to successes and failures in domains on which one has staked self-worth. We present a model of global self-esteem that builds on James' insights and emphasizes contingencies of self-worth. This model can help to (a) point the way to understanding how self-esteem is implicated in affect, cognition, and self-regulation of behavior; (b) suggest how and when self-esteem is implicated in social problems; (c) resolve debates about the nature and functioning of self-esteem; (d) resolve paradoxes in related literatures, such as why people who are stigmatized do not necessarily have low self-esteem and why self-esteem does not decline with age; and (e) suggest how self-esteem is causally related to depression. In addition, this perspective raises questions about how contingencies of self-worth are acquired and how they change, whether they are primarily a resource or a vulnerability, and whether some people have noncontingent self-esteem.

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          Most cited references112

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          A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure.

          A theory was proposed to reconcile paradoxical findings on the invariance of personality and the variability of behavior across situations. For this purpose, individuals were assumed to differ in (a) the accessibility of cognitive-affective mediating units (such as encodings, expectancies and beliefs, affects, and goals) and (b) the organization of relationships through which these units interact with each other and with psychological features of situations. The theory accounts for individual differences in predictable patterns of variability across situations (e.g., if A then she X, but if B then she Y), as well as for overall average levels of behavior, as essential expressions or behavioral signatures of the same underlying personality system. Situations, personality dispositions, dynamics, and structure were reconceptualized from this perspective.
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            Social stigma and self-esteem: The self-protective properties of stigma.

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              Two-component models of socially desirable responding.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychological Review
                Psychological Review
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-1471
                0033-295X
                2001
                2001
                : 108
                : 3
                : 593-623
                Article
                10.1037/0033-295X.108.3.593
                11488379
                70e20166-4388-4965-9e62-2bfa9ae50da9
                © 2001
                History

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