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Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good writer, and feel proud of that in particular") or have global extent (for example, "I believe I am a good person, and feel proud of myself in general").

Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic ("trait" self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations ("state" self-esteem) also exist.

Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include:

  • self-worth,[1]
  • self-regard,[2]
  • self-respect,[3][4]
  • self-love (which can express overtones of self-promotion),[5] and
  • self-integrity.

Self-esteem is distinct from self-confidence and self-efficacy, which involve beliefs about ability and future performance.



Given its long and varied history, the term has had no fewer than three major types of definition, each of which has generated its own tradition of research, findings, and practical applications:

Branden’s (1969) description of self-esteem includes the following primary properties:

Self esteem is a concept of personality, for it to grow, we need to have self worth, and this self worth will be sought from embracing challenges that result in the showing of success.

Compare the usage of terms such as self-love or self-confidence.

Implicit self-esteem refers to a person's disposition to evaluate themselves positively or negatively in a spontaneous, automatic, or unconscious manner. It contrasts with explicit self-esteem, which entails more conscious and reflective self-evaluation. Both explicit self-esteem and implicit self-esteem are subtypes of self-esteem proper.

Implicit self-esteem is assessed using indirect measures of cognitive processing. These include the Name Letter Task[10] and the Implicit Association Test.[11] Such indirect measures are designed to reduce awareness of, or control of, the process of assessment. When used to assess implicit self-esteem, they feature stimuli designed to represent the self, such as personal pronouns (e.g., "I") or letters in one's name.

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