Self-Concept vs. Self-Esteem Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1445 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

Self-Concept vs. Self-Esteem

Two Theories

Outside Circumstances?

Real Definitions?

Inside Out


Win... Lose or Tie?

Self-Concept vs. Self-Esteem

Two Theories

Outside Circumstances?

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

Epictetus (a.D. c. 50-c. 138)

A person not only possesses the ability - it is his/her duty to mold his/her character to try to attain self-rule and personal independence of outside circumstances." (Blackburn, 1996) Although Epictetus, a prominent teacher of Stoicism in the past, did not specifically express his thoughts with these words, the introductory quote prior to this statement, on the other hand, does directly disclose words he expressed and reflects concepts related to self-verification theory, one of the two theories compared in this paper.

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Self-verification theory posits that individuals are basically motivated to maintain consistent beliefs about themselves, even when the beliefs are negative. Diametrically opposite of self-verification theories, self-enhancement theories propose that individuals are mainly motivated to sustain a high self-esteem. Self-esteem, a person's evaluation of his/her self-concept, does not depend on outside circumstances, and whereas, self-concept, the "theory" an individual constructs about him/her self-through social interaction is contingent on outside circumstances. Self-enhancement theorists contend a person with low self-esteem will seek out a positive social evaluation because this bolsters his/her self-esteem. In contrast, self-verification theorists argue that positive feedback nurtures the fear inside a person with low self-esteem people that he/she may not know him/her self, so consequently, he/she rejects affirmative feedback. Throughout time, ongoing debates regarding self-enhancement and self-verifications theories, just as debates regarding self-esteem and self-concept, have regularly erupted in the past and continue to "rumble" today.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Self-Concept vs. Self-Esteem Assignment

Real" Definitions?

King (1997) notes that a great deal of confusion exists in regard to self-concept and self-esteem; that varying definitions exist for each term and that a clear demarcation between these two words needs to be made. Some argue self-concept and self-esteem are diametrically different, while at other times the terms self-concept and self-esteem are used interchangeably. Self-esteem, according to some experts and writers, mirrors.".. The difference between the ideal self... And the actual self... An individual with substantial distance between the actual self and ideal self will develop a negative perception of self (low self-esteem), while an individual with modest distance between the actual self and ideal self will develop a more positive perception of self (high self-esteem)." (King, 1997) Self-concept is deemed to be a person's perception(s) of him/her self in regard to various roles and personal attributes the individual plays of fulfills and is neither negative nor positive. Self-esteem reflects one's evaluation of his/her self-concept's depiction, as well as dissatisfaction or satisfaction with it. Self-concept, for example,.".. would refer to the perception of being tall, whereas self-esteem would refer to one's feelings about being tall (happy vs. unhappy)."

II. Inside Out Just as an individual may self-perpetuate and/or exacerbate his/her condition when he/she views their surroundings as a threat, hostile and/or unfriendly (Sexton, 2002), he/she may improve his/her condition when he/she perceives their circumstances to be reassuring, supportive, and/or friendly. This self-perpetuation, considered a form of self-verification is defined as a person's use of "a variety of techniques to validate their self-views." (Ibid) the self-verification approach assumes an individual is motivated to minimize biased uncertainty about his/her self-concept and social status. Self-verification does not require an individual's self-views to conform to any constraints, nor does it require any change in self-conception. (Ibid.) the study completed by Escovar (2003) reports fairly less consistent self-enhancement results as.".. participants in the feedback condition did report a significantly greater sense of self-verification and self-efficacy/self-discovery than participants in the control condition... (and) also scored higher on self-esteem and self-liking." When individuals are provided information about themselves... assessment feedback, this can result in an individual experiencing positive feelings about him/her self. The study by Stukas (2006) determines that interpersonal feedback reactions by individuals may vary, depending on feedback and its source, but that the self-verification theory contends that individuals are.".. likely to reject self-inconsistent feedback such feedback."


Self-enhancement, numerous theoreticians contend may lend to an individual becoming disillusioned when they discover gaps exist between an individual's enhanced self-evaluation and his/her actual abilities.

Self-enhancement, Eshel (1998) suggests, may contribute to an individual being maladjusted. As Eshel (Ibid) compares self-evaluations with external criteria to examine self-enhancement, he determines that.".. The present model implies… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Self-Concept vs. Self-Esteem.  (2006, October 30).  Retrieved August 4, 2021, from

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