Despite widespread public interest in the topic, many people do not realize that there are numerous definitions of self-esteem. Some psychologists conceptualize self-esteem as a fundamental human need to feel good about oneself, some conceptualize self-esteem as a reasoned tally of one's positive attributes, and still others conceptualize self-esteem as an emotional state. The sociometer model of self-esteem proposes that self-esteem is an interpersonal monitora sociometer that provides real-time feedback about the quality of one's social bonds and provokes behaviors aimed at maintaining positive social relationships with one's ingroup members. Hence, this theory, proposed by Mark Leary and his colleagues, is a distinctly social-psychological theory of self-esteem because it proposes that the self-esteem system plays an important role in helping people navigate their social worlds.

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