Effects of Self-Esteem on Vulnerability-Denying Defensive Distortions: Further Evidence of an Anxiety-Buffering Function of Self-Esteem

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

159 Citations (Scopus)

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 - May 1993

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Self Concept
self-esteem
vulnerability
Anxiety
anxiety
emotionality
evidence
life expectancy
Life Expectancy
trend
Personality
personality
mortality
death
Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Effects of Self-Esteem on Vulnerability-Denying Defensive Distortions : Further Evidence of an Anxiety-Buffering Function of Self-Esteem. / Greenberg, Jeff L; Pyszczynski, Tom; Solomon, Sheldon; Pinel, Elizabeth; Simon, Linda; Jordan, Krista.

In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 3, 05.1993, p. 229-251.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Greenberg, Jeff L ; Pyszczynski, Tom ; Solomon, Sheldon ; Pinel, Elizabeth ; Simon, Linda ; Jordan, Krista. / Effects of Self-Esteem on Vulnerability-Denying Defensive Distortions : Further Evidence of an Anxiety-Buffering Function of Self-Esteem. In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 1993 ; Vol. 29, No. 3. pp. 229-251.
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