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SOC 130

The journal article that I have read is entitled “The Value of Self-Esteem in Positive Pyschology”.
According to the article, self-esteem is one of the oldest topics in pyschology. Self-esteem greatly
contributes to our wellbeing as showed by researches and studies in regards to the correlation between self-
esteem and happiness, well-being and optimal functioning (Deiner and Diener 1995).

Self-esteem could be defined in three ways. These were said to be the ones popularly used and
accepted in the community. The first is the self-esteem as the “ability to succeed in meaningful areas of life
and to believe in your aspirations“ (Mruk, 2013). The second definition is the self-esteem as an “attitude
that raises your sense of worthiness” (Rosenburg, 1965). The last one is defined by Branden (1992) as
“Confidence in our ability to think and to cope with the challenges of life. Confidence in our right to be
happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants and to enjoy the fruits
of our efforts.”

In incorporating self-esteem in positive pyschology, Dr. Martin Seligman raised some of his
concernes with openly accepting self-esteem as part of positive pyschology. He worries specifically that
people would live in the world wherein “self-esteem is injected into a person’s identity, not caring in how
its done, as long as the image of confidence is obtained”. His exact words in 2006 are as follows: “I am not
against self-esteem, but I believe that self-esteem is just a meter that reads out the state of the system. It is
not an end in itself. When you are doing well in school or work, when you are doing well with the people
you love, when you are doing well in play, the meter will register high. When you are doing badly, it will
register low.”

In one of the recent researches held in a university in Brazil by Bastianello, Pacico and Hutz in
2014, it is found that there is a correlation between self-esteem and optimism as shown by the student
participants. They found notable differences in self-esteem between collective and individualistic cultures.
According to Diener and Diener (1995), “expressing personal emotions, attitudes, and cognitive thoguhts
are highly associated with self-esteem, collectivist cultures seem to have a drop in self-esteem because of
lack of those characteristics”. In the case of teenagers, self-esteem has an effect on the resilience of the said
age group. Teenagers with low self-esteem had a higher sense of hopelessness and low resilience similar to
collectivist cultures, as stated by (Karatas, 2011). On the otherhand, in the more individualistic cultures, it
was the opposite. The teenagers had more resilience and higher self-esteem if they are taught to hold on
their beliefs, behaviors, and felt vocal to expressing their opinions (Dumont and Provost, 1999).