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Current Issues in Personality Psychology
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2/2018
vol. 6
 
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abstract:
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People have access to implicit self-esteem unless they do not apply an ego defence

Aleksandra Katarzyna Fila-Jankowska

Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 6(2), 154–163
Online publish date: 2017/12/21
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Background
Early definitions of implicit self-esteem (ISE) assumed its unconscious character. Although researchers have shown ways to achieve consistency between explicit and implicit self-esteem measures, no one has demonstrated that people may be aware of their ISE.

Participants and procedure
In the experiment with 85 participants aged from 19 to 45 years a “lie detector” procedure was used to overcome the self-enhancement bias. The definition of ISE, given to participants, referred to the phenomenon, manifested in popular ISE measures.

Results
In participants who were convinced that they were being assessed in the presence of a lie detector, a significant correlation between referred and actual ISE was shown. Individuals characterised by defensive high self-esteem in natural conditions were less accurate in ISE estimation than those with secure high self-esteem.

Conclusions
The results, demonstrating people’s access to their implicit self-esteem, may have important implications for clinical, well-being, self-acceptance, or educational issues.

keywords:

implicit self-esteem; awareness of implicit attitude; self-enhancement; self-deception; defensive high self-esteem

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