Contingencies of Self-Worth


The work of theorists like William James, Charles Cooley, and G. H. Mead suggests that self-esteem, because it is a judgment about the self, must be based on some sort of criteria. These criteria can be called contingencies of self-worth. William James suggested that everyone's self-esteem is a result of how competent they feel. Cooley and Mead suggested that everyone's self-esteem is a result of being viewed positively by other people. Contingencies of self-worth theory also emphasizes looking at the bases of self-esteem, but it proposes that people may base judgments about their worth on outcomes in any number of different areas or domains. Some people may have contingencies of worth in domains like competency or approval, whereas others may base their worth on ...

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