Revisiting Our Reappraisal of the (Surprisingly Few) Benefits of High Self-Esteem
Roy F Baumeister, Kathleen D Vohs
PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2018
Our 2003 article clashed with conventional wisdom by concluding that high self-esteem has only a couple of benefits, notably high initiative (based on trusting one's own judgment) and feeling good. Its high citation rate reflects not only the novel conclusions but also widespread interest in self-esteem both among researchers and in the broader society. Psychology may have lost some credibility by advocating efforts to raise self-esteem that were based on correlational evidence, which may be a salutary lesson for the field. There is still much to learn about self-esteem, but future work can improve by noting weaknesses in self-report data and correcting for confounds.