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.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Self and Identity|
|Early online date||30 Nov 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Mar 2019|