SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE AND SELF-ESTEEM: TUNING THE SOCIOMETER TO INTERPERSONAL VALUE
Anthony, Danu Beltara
MetadataShow full item record
The author drew on sociometer theory to propose that self-esteem is attuned to traits that garner others’ acceptance, and the traits that garner acceptance depend on one’s social role. Attunement of self-esteem refers to the linkage, or connection, between self-esteem and specific traits, which may be observed most clearly in the association between self-esteem and specific self-evaluations. In most roles, appearance and popularity determine acceptance, so self-esteem is most attuned to those traits. At the same time, interdependent social roles emphasize the value of communal qualities, so occupants of those roles have self-esteem that is more attuned to communal qualities than is the general norm. To avoid the biases of people's personal theories, attunement of self-esteem to particular traits was assessed indirectly via the correlation between self-esteem and self-ratings (Study 2), with cognitive accessibility measures (Study 3), by observing the responsiveness of people’s self-concepts to social cues about the self (Study 4), and with an experiment involving social decision-making (Study 5). As hypothesized, self-esteem was generally more attuned to appearances than communal qualities, but interdependent social roles predicted heightened attunement of self-esteem to qualities like kindness and understanding.