• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

Renae

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
48,389
Reaction score
18,084
Location
San Antonio Texas
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
Such inferences about causality are possible when the subjects are examined at two different times, as was the case in 1986 when Sheila M. Pottebaum, Timothy Z. Keith and Stewart W. Ehly, all then at the University of Iowa, tested more than 23,000 high school students, first in the 10th and again in the 12th grade. They found that self-esteem in 10th grade is only weakly predictive of academic achievement in 12th grade. Academic achievement in 10th grade correlates with self-esteem in 12th grade only trivially better. Such results, which are now available from multiple studies, certainly do not indicate that raising self-esteem offers students much benefit. Some findings even suggest that artificially boosting self-esteem may lower subsequent performance.

Even if raising self-esteem does not foster academic progress, might it serve some purpose later, say, on the job? Apparently not. Studies of possible links between workers' self-regard and job performance echo what has been found with schoolwork: the simple search for correlations yields some suggestive results, but these do not show whether a good self-image leads to occupational success, or vice versa. In any case, the link is not particularly strong.

The failure to contribute significantly at school or at the office would be easily offset if a heightened sense of self-worth helped someone to get along better with others. Having a good self-image might make someone more likable insofar as people prefer to associate with confident, positive individuals and generally avoid those who suffer from self-doubts and insecurities.

People who regard themselves highly generally state that they are popular and rate their friendships as being of superior quality to those described by people with low self-esteem, who report more negative interactions and less social support. But as Julia Bishop and Heidi M. Inderbitzen-Nolan of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln showed in 1995, these assertions do not reflect reality. The investigators asked 542 ninth-grade students to nominate their most-liked and least-liked peers, and the resulting rankings displayed no correlation whatsoever with self-esteem scores.

A few other methodologically sound studies have found that the same is true for adults. In one of these investigations, conducted in the late 1980s, Duane P. Buhrmester, now at the University of Texas at Dallas, and three colleagues reported that college students with high levels of self-regard claimed to be substantially better at initiating relationships, better at disclosing things about themselves, better at asserting themselves in response to objectionable behaviors by others, better at providing emotional support and better even at managing interpersonal conflicts. Their roommates' ratings, however, told a different story. For four of the five interpersonal skills surveyed, the correlation with self-esteem dropped to near zero. The only one that remained statistically significant was with the subjects' ability to initiate new social contacts and friendships. This does seem to be one sphere in which confidence indeed matters: people who think that they are desirable and attractive should be adept at striking up conversations with strangers, whereas those with low self-esteem presumably shy away from initiating such contacts, fearing rejection.


I finally found this thing, been searching for it for a long while to tackle some on here's notion that propping up self esteem in children is good. It's NOT. It's a bunch of mularky.

Bully for You
For decades, psychologists believed that low self-esteem was an important cause of aggression. One of us (Baumeister) challenged that notion in 1996, when he reviewed assorted studies and concluded that perpetrators of aggression generally hold favorable and perhaps even inflated views of themselves.

Take the bullying that goes on among children, a common form of aggression. Dan Olweus of the University of Bergen was one of the first to dispute the notion that under their tough exteriors, bullies suffer from insecurities and self-doubts. Although Olweus did not measure self-esteem directly, he showed that bullies reported less anxiety and were more sure of themselves than other children. Apparently the same applies to violent adults, as Baumeister discussed in these pages a few years ago [see "More to Explore," below].

After coming to the conclusion that high self-esteem does not lessen a tendency toward violence, that it does not deter adolescents from turning to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and sex, and that it fails to improve academic or job performance, we got a boost when we looked into how self-esteem relates to happiness. The consistent finding is that people with high self-esteem are significantly happier than others. They are also less likely to be depressed.
Gee, bully's have an inflated belief of self worth?? no way man.

So we can certainly understand how an injection of self-esteem might be valuable to the individual. But imagine if a heightened sense of self-worth prompted some people to demand preferential treatment or to exploit their fellows. Such tendencies would entail considerable social costs. And we have found little to indicate that indiscriminately promoting self-esteem in today's children or adults, just for being themselves, offers society any compensatory benefits beyond the seductive pleasure it brings to those engaged in the exercise.

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth
 

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,580
Reaction score
31,552
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
This pretty much reinforces my belief that self-esteem must be accomplished and earned, and cannot be given to anyone, child or adult.
 

Ziggae_6

Active member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
345
Reaction score
87
Location
Louisville, KY Hometown: Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
What then should we do? Should parents, teachers and therapists seek to boost self-esteem wherever possible? In the course of our literature review, we found some indications that self-esteem is a helpful attribute. It improves persistence in the face of failure. And individuals with high self-esteem sometimes perform better in groups than do those with low self-esteem. Also, a poor self-image is a risk factor for certain eating disorders, especially bulimia--a connection one of us (Vohs) and her colleagues documented in 1999. Other effects are harder to demonstrate with objective evidence, although we are inclined to accept the subjective evidence that self-esteem goes hand in hand with happiness.

So we can certainly understand how an injection of self-esteem might be valuable to the individual. But imagine if a heightened sense of self-worth prompted some people to demand preferential treatment or to exploit their fellows. Such tendencies would entail considerable social costs. And we have found little to indicate that indiscriminately promoting self-esteem in today's children or adults, just for being themselves, offers society any compensatory benefits beyond the seductive pleasure it brings to those engaged in the exercise.

Simply because you hate the concept of promoting self-esteem doesn't mean that it is worthless. Note that I am actually quoting your own article. You selectively picked out areas that supported your opinion but didn't grasp that the article is claiming that "indiscriminately" promoting self-esteem is not the cure all for everything. Fair enough. But they do recognize benefits.

By the way, there are some theorists such as from Albert Ellis that sees self-esteem as a poor concept to promote mental health because it relies upon the person having success. Thus when you're successful, you feel stronger esteem for yourself, while you end up with lower self-esteem which can actually promote more failures. He felt that in place of promoting self-esteem, a better concept is a belief of self-acceptance. What this should do is help stabilize your feelings and assist a person to come back quicker from failures.

By the way, the area at the conclusion discussed that self-esteem was aligned with happiness. Any chance that you dislike people having a healthy dose of self-esteem because you don't want them to be happy?
 
Last edited:

Renae

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
48,389
Reaction score
18,084
Location
San Antonio Texas
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
Simply because you hate the concept of promoting self-esteem doesn't mean that it is worthless. Note that I am actually quoting your own article. You selectively picked out areas that supported your opinion but didn't grasp that the article is claiming that "indiscriminately" promoting self-esteem is not the cure all for everything. Fair enough. But they do recognize benefits.

By the way, there are some theorists such as from Albert Ellis that sees self-esteem as a poor concept to promote mental health because it relies upon the person having success. Thus when you're successful, you feel stronger esteem for yourself, while you end up with lower self-esteem which can actually promote more failures. He felt that in place of promoting self-esteem, a better concept is a belief of self-acceptance. What this should do is help stabilize your feelings and assist a person to come back quicker from failures.

By the way, the area at the conclusion discussed that self-esteem was aligned with happiness. Any chance that you dislike people having a healthy dose of self-esteem because you don't want them to be happy?

Any chance you want to discuss my issue with the false self-esteem bs or do you just want to make assumptions that you created in your own mind?

I have no problem with people being happy, or having earned self-esteem. Falsely telling a child they are "Special" just because they are, or giving all the kids a "trophy" so no one "feels bad about themselves". It's all poppycock nonsense that denies children the chance to learn how to deal with failure.
 

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,580
Reaction score
31,552
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Simply because you hate the concept of promoting self-esteem doesn't mean that it is worthless.

It’s not that promoting it is worthless, it just doesn’t work.;)

He felt that in place of promoting self-esteem, a better concept is a belief of self-acceptance. What this should do is help stabilize your feelings and assist a person to come back quicker from failures.

I don’t see how that premise contradicts the one in the linked article.

By the way, the area at the conclusion discussed that self-esteem was aligned with happiness. Any chance that you dislike people having a healthy dose of self-esteem because you don't want them to be happy?

Self-esteem is great stuff. The point is that it can’t be given away or bestowed by parents, friends, peers, or co-workers. It comes from within. Someone who has a high level of self-esteem doesn’t really care whether or not someone else wants him to have it.
 

rivrrat

Goddess of Bacon
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
13,988
Reaction score
6,593
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I haven't read the article yet, but I will. However, there's a difference between a "bully" saying they think highly of themselves and them actually feeling that way truly. If they're basing their analysis on what the "bullies" are SAYING, then the analysis is going to be incorrect.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,987
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
I was going to read the whole article but realized the the website that it's posted on is overtly biased. WE'RE DOING IT FOR THE CHILDREN . . . and such sites posting anything in length makes me question if they've altered the info. So I found an alternative non-biased source here
 

Ziggae_6

Active member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
345
Reaction score
87
Location
Louisville, KY Hometown: Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
It’s not that promoting it is worthless, it just doesn’t work.



Care to actually tell me how you know that self-esteem does not work. My source is actually the same one used in the OP that saw both good and bad in the concept of self-esteem. Simply saying "it doesn't work" is not what the article says.
 
Last edited:

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,987
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Care to actually tell me how you know that self-esteem does not work. My source is actually the same one used in the OP that saw both good and bad in the concept of self-esteem. Simply saying "it doesn't work" is not what the article says.

Is this to me?

I have no opinion as of yet, I'm still reading.
 

Ziggae_6

Active member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
345
Reaction score
87
Location
Louisville, KY Hometown: Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Any chance you want to discuss my issue with the false self-esteem bs or do you just want to make assumptions that you created in your own mind?

I have no problem with people being happy, or having earned self-esteem. Falsely telling a child they are "Special" just because they are, or giving all the kids a "trophy" so no one "feels bad about themselves". It's all poppycock nonsense that denies children the chance to learn how to deal with failure.


I am confused here with the source YOU USED and what you are arguing. If you simply want to exchange opinions and feelings, that's ok. But your "evidence" is really about whether the concept of self-esteem is beneficial. What is your argument? Are you saying that self-esteem is not useful or that certain methods are not helpful to build self-esteem? Note the article is simply about whether self-esteem can be linked to achievement and if high self-esteem can be linked to negative behaviors.
 

Gabriel

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
1,019
Reaction score
118
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
My give a **** factor on this is pretty low. I've known for sometime much of what is considered psychological "science" is pure bunk.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,987
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
*done reading*

Very interesting! The entire article . . . interesting and revealing . . .

Especially this part:
Take the bullying that goes on among children, a common form of aggression. Dan Olweus of the University of Bergen was one of the first to dispute the notion that under their tough exteriors, bullies suffer from insecurities and self-doubts. Although Olweus did not measure self-esteem directly, he showed that bullies reported less anxiety and were more sure of themselves than other children. Apparently the same applies to violent adults, as Baumeister discussed in these pages a few years ago.
 

UtahBill

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
18,264
Reaction score
6,648
Location
Utah
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
I have 2 poor siblings who think the world should beat a path to their doors and give them what they want, whether they deserve it or not. That has to be a form of self esteem created out of thin air. They made minimal effort in their school work, but to be fair, they also were a bit slower than the rest of us, hated reading, and dropped out of school as soon as they could.
I don't know how they got that way, unless our mother did it by giving them too much slack. Certainly the worst of our bunch got away with a lot of crap that I and one sister would have been beaten for. Not complaining, tho. You can learn a lot from a bad example....

How would self esteem equate to self sufficient ego?
 

VanceMack

MSG Benavides TAB
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
76,519
Reaction score
32,395
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I finally found this thing, been searching for it for a long while to tackle some on here's notion that propping up self esteem in children is good. It's NOT. It's a bunch of mularky.


Gee, bully's have an inflated belief of self worth?? no way man.



Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

This report and the vague 'studies' they cite (this is a piece of **** as far as a cited and peer reviewed scholarly paper) is not unlike adding 1 + banana = truck.

Self esteem is a biproduct of healthy progression within a supporting family. Read a little of Maslows work on the hierarchy of needs and development of the self. If you dont think positive and healthy self esteem is essential to the development of positive relationships, family, personal and professional growth...well...Ive got a few million people I could introduce you to.

I agree in that you cant create a false sense of positive self esteem. But then...thats not 'healthy' self esteem, is it?
 

Tucker Case

Matthew 16:3
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
45,596
Reaction score
22,536
Location
Everywhere and nowhere
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
I finally found this thing, been searching for it for a long while to tackle some on here's notion that propping up self esteem in children is good. It's NOT. It's a bunch of mularky.

Just a question, how are you defining and measuring "good"?

I'm just asking because saying "Self-esteem scores were not related to performance" isn't really evidence of "Propping up self esteem isn't a good thing".

It seems that one thing was certain, low self-esteem and a tendency toward negative thoughts and views were correlated.

A study determining whether propping up self-esteem can lead to decreasing a tendency towards negative thoughts and views would be more necessary to make a determination of the "goodness" of propping up self-esteem. If doing so led to decreased tendencies towards negative thoughts and views, and that correlated with increased happiness, who gives a **** about performance?
 

Your Star

Rage More!
DP Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
27,241
Reaction score
19,930
Location
Georgia
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Progressive
Self esteem is good, but only when earned.
 

liblady

pirate lover
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
16,164
Reaction score
5,060
Location
St Thomas, VI
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Progressive
Any chance you want to discuss my issue with the false self-esteem bs or do you just want to make assumptions that you created in your own mind?

I have no problem with people being happy, or having earned self-esteem. Falsely telling a child they are "Special" just because they are, or giving all the kids a "trophy" so no one "feels bad about themselves". It's all poppycock nonsense that denies children the chance to learn how to deal with failure.

well, you go ahead and raise your children like that. i'll pass.
 

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,580
Reaction score
31,552
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Care to actually tell me how you know that self-esteem does not work. My source is actually the same one used in the OP that saw both good and bad in the concept of self-esteem. Simply saying "it doesn't work" is not what the article says.

Promoting self-esteem doesn't give one self-esteem. If I were your parent, I could tell you how wonderful you are on a daily basis, but that wouldn't mean anything to you personally until you felt you deserved my praise. It's not the concept that is in error- it's the belief that you can give someone else a high level of self-esteem, when you can't.
Dont mistake what I am saying. A child should be raised in a loving home with parents who give him opportunities to grow personally and develop his own sense of self and sense of worth, it's just that telling him how great he is doesn't make him feel great.
 

Ziggae_6

Active member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
345
Reaction score
87
Location
Louisville, KY Hometown: Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Promoting self-esteem doesn't give one self-esteem. If I were your parent, I could tell you how wonderful you are on a daily basis, but that wouldn't mean anything to you personally until you felt you deserved my praise. It's not the concept that is in error- it's the belief that you can give someone else a high level of self-esteem, when you can't.
Dont mistake what I am saying. A child should be raised in a loving home with parents who give him opportunities to grow personally and develop his own sense of self and sense of worth, it's just that telling him how great he is doesn't make him feel great.

My original point was that the article being mentioned in the OP does not have to do with whether or not self-esteem is manufactured. It is whether or not having self-esteem is beneficial. If it isn't, having programs to increase self-esteem is wrong headed anyway. What goes on in a household during development years can go a long way toward whether or not someone will view themselves favorably. A child growing up in a loving home probably has a better chance of self-esteem. I really don't know what you mean by saying "promoting" self-esteem is bad. Normally you want higher self-esteem. As a parent you normally want to design your child's life to meet with the most "success." Since self-esteem has to do with how someone views themself, ultimately their own thoughts determine this. But as a parent you would have a large influence over your child and choose many of their experiences.
 

Renae

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
48,389
Reaction score
18,084
Location
San Antonio Texas
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
I was going to read the whole article but realized the the website that it's posted on is overtly biased. WE'RE DOING IT FOR THE CHILDREN . . . and such sites posting anything in length makes me question if they've altered the info. So I found an alternative non-biased source here

Yeah, it's the same damned article, but the SA one when I went there asked me to pay for it.
 

Renae

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
48,389
Reaction score
18,084
Location
San Antonio Texas
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
well, you go ahead and raise your children like that. i'll pass.

I am, even without your permission. Besides, what's wrong with teaching children how to deal with failure???
 

Ziggae_6

Active member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
345
Reaction score
87
Location
Louisville, KY Hometown: Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
I am, even without your permission. Besides, what's wrong with teaching children how to deal with failure???



It (higher self-esteem) improves persistence in the face of failure.
--from MrViccho's article


Sir, did you read your OWN article that you used as your primary source?
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,987
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
I am, even without your permission. Besides, what's wrong with teaching children how to deal with failure???

I feel the same way you do - I feel that people should feel good about what they accomplish without any extra butter.
If you butter kids up too much and too often they'll expect it more and more . . . and it will eventually work against you, without that extra butter they'll feel like they're a failure.

Especially when it comes to some type of an accomplished task that individuals had to put time into and work towards to achieve. . . like the awards thing you mentioned. When I was in orchestra in JR high (8th grade) we had our yearly state-wide competition. A lot of us practiced our asses off for weeks before the competition - 5 of us made it into the top 3 of our category (which was age/instrument) and two of us won first place (yep - me in violin, my friend in Cello) . . . and on the buss going home our teacher gave us our awards - She gave out the real awards first to those who legitimately earned it. But then she gave out 1st place awards to everyone because "I don't want anyone to go home feeling left out"

WTF! That pissed me off - I *earned* my first place by working hard . . . and by the time we got home I had nothing real to show for it except for a stupid award that everyone else was given. . . what was the point of busting my ass for weeks before the competition if we were all just going to be gifted awards in the end? That means that the kids who didn't practice much at all - even JC who didn't even WANT to be in the compitition - went home and got praise from Mom and Dad. There was no effort on my teacher's behalf to actually inform the parents "I gave your child an honorary award."

I never felt so smacked in the face before. . . I went home and didn't even tell my parents how it went - I didn't see the point in bragging on my 'equality accomplishment'

I was steaming for weeks - I really hated my teacher after that. In the effort to make everyone feel "equal and happy about their selves" she really ****ed over the students who DID really work hard and hurt *our* feelings instead.

Obviously it still pisses me off.
 
Top Bottom