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Self-esteem is an attitude towards an individual to his/her beliefs, skills, social relationships, and future. Self-esteem is also the emotional reaction that individuals experience as they evaluate and reflect on different aspects of their lives. Research has shown that people presumed to have a high self-esteem and have a happy and healthy lifestyle. Those individuals who feel happy and satisfied about themselves are capable of coping with various challenges in their life. Such people live knowing that they are respected and valued by others. Individuals with low self-esteem are often distressed and depressed. These people tend to see their world negatively. Furthermore, they are lonely, shy and are likely to alienate themselves from the rest of the world.
I believe that self-esteem is the overall view of ones self, as either worthy or not. It describes an individuals personal value and respect. It also includes personal beliefs about themselves, such as their appearance, viewpoints, emotions and habits. I chose to study self-esteem because I believe that it is the foundation that builds us to be better individuals. It provides a chance to learn more about our strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it is important to know more about self-esteem, as it helps us to improve our self-concept.
History and Conceptualization
This test is intended to measure where people lie on the scale when it comes to their self-worth. In the past, the study of self-esteem has faced a lot of concerns in its design and measures. Critiques of the studies blame the lack of flexibility in experimentation and reliable instruments to measure it. They argue that the status of self-worth assessments research is in itself an embarrassment in the study of personality.
Many tools are used to test and evaluate ones self-esteem. Exploring the used criteria is vital when it comes to interpreting data. Methods employed in the past include Rosenberg Self-esteem scale, Janis-Inadequacy scale, and Implicit Association Test (IAT) among others. On the one hand, Rosenberg was the first to use questionnaires to investigate self-esteem in individuals. According to him, self-esteem is shown when one has positive or negative attitudes towards himself/herself and others. Janis-Field Felling of adequacy, on the other hand, measures peoples feelings of social competence, such as anxiety, personal worthiness, and self-consciousness. IAT test was conceived by Greenwald, McGhee, and Schwartz. It is an evaluation of subjects attitudes through a series of computerized tests. Populations under study respond to words displayed on the computer by pressing keys equivalent to the left and right sides concepts. The computer generates results based on the speed of answers. However, methods that use questionnaires have been criticized as being prone to self-delusions, controlled responses and, social circumstances reliance. Therefore, methods, such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT), have been used to measure self-esteem, where the subjects are unaware and are not in a position to control their responses.
A study in Alberta high school used Rosenberg self-assessment scale to determine self-esteem of students. A study included 1084 males and 1024 females. The findings showed that the scale was a reliable tool for measuring self-esteem in students. From the received results, males had a higher self-esteem than female students. The study also found out that those with low self-esteem issues are people who face family problems, such as physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, parental drug abuse, divorces and parental absentees.
Use and Scope
This test will be used to measure how individuals value themselves and how they think others see them. Self-esteem impacts on how we relate to other people in the society. Positive or high self-esteem gives individuals the strength and ability to take control over their lives and learn from their mistakes without the fear of being rejected.
Result of the test will reveal the level of self-esteem that a person has. It will look at things, such as individuals confidence, awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses trust in others, the capacity to solve problems, and the ability to make mistakes and accept them. The test is meant to analyze the psychology of students of ages 18 years and above. I chose this age group because I believe that young adults are more aware of themselves. Most importantly, having high self-esteem is essential for students to excel in life.
Test Construction, Try-Out, and Analysis
At first, I came up with a series of questions by comparing high to low self-esteem attributes. I then thought about life of a student, based on my experiences, and that of my friends. I reflected on the issues I have about myself by looking at how I feel about myself and how I behave in class. I also evaluated conversations I have heard about me from others. I observed past and present situations on issues of self-esteem and how they have impacted my life. It is not easy to build self-esteem when others speak about you in a negative way. Often when people around value someone less, their self-esteem tends to go down. From my experience, I believe that one must try everything possible to uphold his/her self-esteem regardless of the situation.
The described test consists of sixteen questions grouped into two. Each part contains eight separate questions. A 5 point scale is used to rank answers for each question. It includes: strongly agree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat disagree, and strongly disagree. To measure high esteem levels of individuals, scores with strongly agree and somewhat agree with points of 2 and 1, respectively, were used. Neither agree nor disagree carried 0 points, while low self-esteem, I used ,somewhat disagree and strongly disagree, with -1 and -2 points, respectively. The scores of low self-esteem questions are the opposite.
When I took the test, I scored a total of 19 out of total 32 points. The range I fell between was both high self-esteem and low self-esteem levels. When I was little, I used to perform well in class. I would also get along with my classmates and, as a result, I had many friends. I knew that most of my classmates wanted to associate with me. Furthermore, I could tell that they valued me and respected me a great deal. I also could cope well with problems at school, such as finishing my homework on time. At the end of the year, I was always confident that I would be among the top scorers in our class. If these results were from my younger days in school, I would have disagreed with them, since I regarded myself as a person with high self-esteem levels. Today, I find myself stressing over small issues. Sometimes I tend to speak negatively about my performance in school. Moreover, I find myself more concerned about what people think about me. Furthermore, I tend to take time to make friends in college, which was not so in high school. As a result, I now have fewer friends. Nevertheless, I know that they value our friendship and respect me as a person. I also know that I can count on my friends to help me when I will need it. Additionally, I feel that I can make an impact on my studies if I put more efforts. Through exercise, I have learnt about the things that hold me back from reaching my goals. I need to work on my public image, as well as how to cope with stress issues at school.
Through this exercise, I have come to learn what self-esteem levels can bring. It has encouraged me to focus on my self-worth and to be confident that everything is possible if I only put my mind into it. I now carry the philosophy that what I think is what I become. The mind has the power to improve or break someone. On days that I find myself faced with different problems I tell myself I can handle this, and as I go through the day, I get solutions to my problems. Dealing with school, work, family and friends all at the same time can bring about anxiety and stress. When that happens, I have to sit back and assess my situation and become confident that I can make it, as long as I keep focusing on myself. When faced with challenges, I have to be strong and believe that I will come out as a tougher individual. The exercise has also made me learn from my mistakes and the value of taking life positively.
Self-esteem is a persons sense of worthiness and self-image. The desire for it is an essential part of human motive. The self-actualization theory of Maslow places it as fourth in the hierarchy of needs. It is, at the same level, as achievements, respect, independence and competence in the pyramid. High self-esteem is related to emotional wellbeing, better judgments, increased school performances and reduced anti-social behaviors. According to him, there are also studies that associate it with negative things, such as violence, narcissism, and egoism.
To provide norms, we would have to collect information about population demographics, so as to establish their standard deviations and mean. The results for self-esteem to students performance in school showed a mean of 53.63 and a standard deviation of 8.980. This result is understandable, since self-esteem measures tend to lie towards the higher end, meaning, people view themselves in a positive way.
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