Explaining the “how” of self-esteem development: The self-organizing self-esteem model

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Abstract

The current article proposes a theoretical model of self-esteem called the Self-Organizing Self-Esteem (SOSE) model. The model provides an integrative framework for conceptualizing and understanding the intrinsic dynamics of self-esteem and the role of the context across 3 levels of development: The macro level, which is the level of trait self-esteem, the meso level, on which we find state self-esteem, and the micro level, which is the level of discrete self experiences. The model applies principles from the complex dynamics systems perspective to self-esteem, and can thus uniquely describe the underlying mechanism of self-esteem development based on self-organizational processes and interacting time scales. We compare the proposed SOSE model with a formalized account of the traditional approach to self-esteem, showing that the SOSE model is especially conducive to the understanding of self-esteem development in a way that the traditional approach is not—namely, in its ability to explain and predict the underlying dynamics of trait and state self-esteem, the meaning of variability, and the role of the context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-68
Number of pages20
JournalReview of General Psychology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29-Mar-2017

Keywords

  • DYNAMIC-SYSTEMS APPROACH
  • PARENT-CHILD INTERACTIONS
  • LIFE-SPAN
  • INTRAINDIVIDUAL VARIABILITY
  • YOUNG ADULTHOOD
  • AGGRESSIVE-CHILDREN
  • INTRINSIC DYNAMICS
  • EMOTION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • ORGANIZATION

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