Deconfounding the effects of dominance and social acceptance on self-esteem
Three studies examined the independent effects of social acceptance and dominance on self-esteem. In Studies 1 and 2, participants received false feedback regarding their relative acceptance and dominance in a laboratory group, and state self-esteem was assessed. Results indicated that acceptance and dominance feedback had independent effects on self-esteem. Study 2 showed that these effects were not moderated by individual differences in participants' self-reported responsivity to being accepted versus dominant. In Study 3, participants completed multiple measures of perceived dominance, perceived acceptance, and trait self-esteem. Results showed that both perceived dominance and perceived acceptance accounted for unique variance in trait self-esteem, but that perceived acceptance consistently accounted for substantially more variance than perceived dominance. Also, trait self-esteem was related to the degree to which participants felt accepted by specific people in their lives, but not to the degree to which participants thought those individuals perceived them as dominant.
Leary, MR; Cottrell, CA; Phillips, M
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