Reducing contingent self-worth: A defensive response to self-threats.
Previous research shows that people with high self-esteem cope with threats to the self by reducing the extent to which their self-worth is contingent on the threatened domain (Buckingham, Weber, & Sypher, 2012). The present studies tested the hypothesis that this is a defensive process. In support of this hypothesis, Study 1 (N = 160), showed that self-affirmation attenuates the tendency for people with high self-esteem to reduce their contingencies of self-worth following self-threat. Furthermore, Study 2 (N = 286), showed that this tendency was more prevalent among people with defensive self-esteem than among those with secure self-esteem. The present studies imply that reducing contingent self-worth after self-threat is a defensive process. We discuss implications for theories of contingent self-worth.
T Buckingham, J; Lam, TA; Andrade, FC; Boring, BL; Emery, D
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