Self Esteem Instability – Scale Development and Relations to Appraisal and Dispositional Constructs
Flaxer, Joseph M.
Past literature indicates that self-esteem may not be a stable entity for all individuals, and there may be some individuals for whom their self-esteem varies across contexts. Research has shown that further exploring the Self Esteem Instability paradigm has the potential to create a much more comprehensive and accurate account of SE that accounts for this variability. Also, it is desirable to develop a viable alternative to the current multiple assessment method of SE-stability that can measure SE-instability in a single assessment. Participants were asked to write about a highly stressful event they had experienced, and then responded to a long survey of questions measuring SE-level, SE-instability, appraisal style and situated appraisal, and a variety of other dispositional constructs. Interaction between SE-instability and SE-level was predicted, as well as relationships of these interactions to blame assignment, coping, and other appraisal and dispositional constructs. Results indicated that a highly reliable measure of SE-instability was produced with strong face validity. Instability was found to relate to a wide variety of constructs in ways that were largely in line with predictions, although the exact relations predicted were not always observed. Implications of these findings are discussed.