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January 19, 2005

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, research shows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior.

People intuitively recognize the importance of self-esteem to their psychological health, so it isn't particularly remarkable that most of us try to protect and enhance it in ourselves whenever possible. What is remarkable is that attention to self-esteem has become a communal concern, at least for Americans, who see a favorable opinion of oneself as the central psychological source from which all manner of positive outcomes spring. The corollary, that low self-esteem lies at the root of individual and thus societal problems and dysfunctions, has sustained an ambitious social agenda for decades. Indeed, campaigns to raise people's sense of self-worth abound.

Some findings even suggest that artificially boosting self-esteem may lower subsequent academic performance.


January 19, 2005 in Info | Permalink


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A myth can also be a religion that many people still believe in.

Posted by: Audrey | Jan 19, 2005 11:03:53 AM

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