Poster Title

Effects of Social Acceptance and Rejection on Self-Esteem

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Current psychological research on self-esteem focuses on the various factors that give rise to feelings about the self. One theory posits that self-esteem is based on the degree to which one feels included in a group. Another theory proposes that selfesteem comes from many domains that may or may not include belonging to a group. This experiment seeks to examine the effects of social acceptance and rejection on self-esteem. Participants were identified as having self-esteem that is based on inclusion-exclusion in a pre-screening measure. During the experiment they wrote about a time in which they were included or excluded from a group. The experiment concluded with measures of self-esteem. The predictions are that high self-esteem people whose self-esteem is predicated on inclusion-exclusion will show a defensive reaction that results in an ironic but temporary boost in self-esteem following an experience of exclusion. Low self-esteem people whose self-esteem is based on inclusion-exclusion are expected to show a temporary decline in self-esteem after an experience of exclusion. Self-esteem should temporarily rise for high and low selfesteem people following an experience of social inclusion.

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Effects of Social Acceptance and Rejection on Self-Esteem

Current psychological research on self-esteem focuses on the various factors that give rise to feelings about the self. One theory posits that self-esteem is based on the degree to which one feels included in a group. Another theory proposes that selfesteem comes from many domains that may or may not include belonging to a group. This experiment seeks to examine the effects of social acceptance and rejection on self-esteem. Participants were identified as having self-esteem that is based on inclusion-exclusion in a pre-screening measure. During the experiment they wrote about a time in which they were included or excluded from a group. The experiment concluded with measures of self-esteem. The predictions are that high self-esteem people whose self-esteem is predicated on inclusion-exclusion will show a defensive reaction that results in an ironic but temporary boost in self-esteem following an experience of exclusion. Low self-esteem people whose self-esteem is based on inclusion-exclusion are expected to show a temporary decline in self-esteem after an experience of exclusion. Self-esteem should temporarily rise for high and low selfesteem people following an experience of social inclusion.