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Defensive self-esteem impacts attention, attitude strength, and self-affirmation processes

Haddock, Geoffrey ORCID: and Gebauer, Jochen Eberhard 2011. Defensive self-esteem impacts attention, attitude strength, and self-affirmation processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 47 (6) , pp. 1276-1284. 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.05.020

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Individuals with defensive self-esteem score low on implicit measures of self-esteem (ISE) and high on explicit measures of self-esteem (ESE). Although there is some evidence about the consequences of defensive self-esteem, much of it is indirect and open to alternative explanations. Here, we offer direct and novel evidence regarding the implications of defensive self-esteem. Using a standard visual attention paradigm, Study 1 revealed that defensive self-esteem is associated with enhanced attention to defensiveness-related words. Building upon these results, Study 2 found that defensive self-esteem individuals reported particularly strong attitudes, across different operationalizations of attitude strength as well as different attitude objects. Study 3 examined the sensitivity of defensive self-esteem individuals to self-affirmation effects. The results revealed that self-affirmation was particularly effective for defensive self-esteem individuals in reducing actual-ideal self-discrepancies. Overall, the results provide novel and firm evidence that the combination of simultaneously low ISE and high ESE elicits defensiveness

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Defensive self-esteem; Attention; Attitude strength; Self-affirmation
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0022-1031
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:53

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