When do ego threats lead to self-regulation failure? Negative consequences of defensive high self-esteem

Kathleen Hoffman Lambird, Traci Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

High self-esteem (HSE) is increasingly recognized as heterogeneous. By measuring subtypes of HSE, the present research reevaluates the finding that HSE individuals show poor self-regulation following ego threat (Baumeister, Heatherton, & Tice, 1993). In Experiment 1, participants with HSE showed poor self-regulation after ego threat only if they also were defensive (high in self-presentation bias). In Experiment 2, two measures - self-presentation bias and implicit self-esteem - were used to subtype HSE individuals as defensive. Both operationalizations of defensive HSE predicted poor self-regulation after ego threat. The results indicate that (a) only defensive HSE individuals are prone to self-regulation failure following ego threat and (b) measures of self-presentation bias and implicit self-esteem can both be used to detect defensiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1187
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Defensiveness
  • Ego threat
  • Implicit self-esteem
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-regulation

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