The functional domain specificity of self-esteem and the differential prediction of aggression.
On the basis of an evolutionary theory of self-esteem (SE), it was hypothesized that the SE-aggression relationship differs across functionally distinct domains of SE and across contexts. In 2 experiments, participants had the opportunity to aggress against the evaluator of an essay they had written. In Study 1, self-perceived superiority was positively related to aggression, whereas social inclusion was inversely related to aggression. In Study 2, in which the context was altered to simulate a mating competition, only a measure of self-perceived mate value emerged as a (positive) predictor of aggression. Global SE failed to contribute to the prediction of aggression in either experiment. Statistically controlling for narcissism did not eliminate either set of findings. Implications for the conceptualization and measurement of SE and narcissism are discussed.
Kirkpatrick, LA; Waugh, CE; Valencia, A; Webster, GD
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