Effects of self-esteem on vulnerability-denying defensive distortions: Further evidence of an anxiety-buffering function of self-esteem

Jeff Greenberg, Tom Pyszczynski, Sheldon Solomon, Elizabeth Pinel, Linda Simon, Krista Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

166 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two studies were conducted to assess the proposition that self-esteem serves an anxiety-buffering function. In Study 1, it was hypothesized that raising self-esteem would reduce the need to deny vulnerability to early death. In support of this hypothesis, positive personality feedback eliminated subjects′ tendency to bias emotionality reports to deny vulnerability to a short life expectancy-except when mortality had been made salient to the subjects. Study 2 conceptually replicated this effect by demonstrating that whereas subjects low in trait self-esteem biased emotionality reports to deny vulnerability to a short life expectancy, subjects high in trait self-esteem did not exhibit such a bias. Thus, converging evidence that self-esteem reduces vulnerability-denying defensive distortions was obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-251
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of self-esteem on vulnerability-denying defensive distortions: Further evidence of an anxiety-buffering function of self-esteem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this