Factors affecting the self-esteem hypothesis : self-serving biases in the intergroup situation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sandra J. Donaldson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
John J. Seta

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to assess whether an individual's engagement of self-serving strategies was dependent upon (a) one's level of self-esteem, (b) the stability of one's self-esteem, and (c) the relevance or importance of the evaluative feedback. The research was tested using an intergroup paradigm, as supporting evidence within this paradigm had demonstrated that only high self-esteem individuals were capable of engaging in self-enhancing strategies or intergroup bias when their self view was threatened with negative evaluative feedback. One-hundred and eighty female college students comprised the sample. The 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 analysis of variance provided converging evidence that both high and low self-esteem individuals are capable of engaging in self-serving strategies but it depends on a combination of factors. When performance feedback is negative and related to one's intelligence and creative ability, low self-esteem individuals do not demonstrate the same engagement of self-serving strategies as demonstrated by high selfesteem individuals. When negative performance feedback does not implicate one's intellectual or creative ability, low self-esteem individuals are capable of engaging in self-serving strategies. The ability to engage in self-serving strategies was further related to the stability of self-esteem with unstable high self-esteem being the most reactive to evaluative feedback that implicates their intellectual and creative ability. These results were demonstrated most effectively when direct measures were used to assess self-serving biases within individuals.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1995
Social groups $x Psychological aspects

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