Ironic effects of feedback on contingency of self-worth: Why self-reports of contingency are biased

Roos Vonk (Corresponding Author), Mirjam Radstaak, Peter De Heus, Janneke Jolij

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Contingent self-worth has been studied as an individual differences variable affecting how self-relevant information is processed. We examined the effects of self-relevant information on contingent self-worth as a dependent variable. In Experiment 1 (N = 79, college students), participants’ performance contingency was higher after negative than positive performance feedback. In Experiment 2 (N = 3764, community sample), social approval and appearance contingencies were lower in a social approval condition than in control conditions. Mediation analyses suggested this effect was mediated by enhanced self-esteem. Thus, self-esteem increased due to the very source that participants came to regard as less important: Social approval. Results are explained in terms of sociometer theory and limited introspection abilities: All self-esteem is sensitive to external contingencies, people just become more aware of this when it is threatened.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-200
Number of pages18
JournalSelf and Identity
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date30 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D

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