Never Let Them See You Cry: Self-Presentation as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Exclusion and Self-Esteem
A debate exists concerning whether exclusion harms self-esteem. We hypothesized that social exclusion does harm self-esteem, but that this effect is evident only when self-presentational concerns to appear fine are minimal or people are unable to alter their report of self-esteem. In the first three studies, participants' explicit and implicit self-esteem were measured following an exclusion or comparison condition where self-presentational pressures were likely high. Because respondents can easily control their reports on explicit measures, but not on implicit ones, we hypothesized that exclusion would result in lower self-esteem only when implicit measures were used. Results confirmed this hypothesis. In the final study, self-presentational concerns were directly manipulated. When self-presentational concerns were high, only implicit self-esteem was lowered by exclusion. But, when such concerns were low, this impact on self-esteem was seen on implicit and explicit measures. Implications for the sociometer hypothesis and the recent self-esteem debate are discussed.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Bernstein, M. J.,
Claypool, H. M.,
Young, S. G.,
Sacco, D. F.,
Brown, C. M.
(2013). Never Let Them See You Cry: Self-Presentation as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Exclusion and Self-Esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(10), 1293-1305.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/7878