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Psychological analysis of self-esteem

In the framework of the I - concept, as the content side of self-consciousness, researchers define self-esteem as an assessment of the personality of itself, its capabilities, qualities, and place among other people [44; P. 410], A. Petrovsky argues that "self-esteem is the result of a kind of projection of the real" I "onto the" I "ideal" [44; S. 411].

“Self-esteem - the value, significance, which the individual gives himself as a whole and certain aspects of his personality, activity, behavior [60, p. 343]. Self-esteem acts as a relatively stable structural formation, a component of the self - concepts, self-knowledge, and as a process of self-esteem. The basis of self-esteem is the system of personal meanings of the individual, the system of values ​​adopted by him. It is considered as the central personality formation and the central component of the self - the concept. "

Self-esteem is interpreted as a personality formation that is directly involved in the regulation of human behavior and activity, as an autonomous characteristic of the personality, its central component, which is formed with the active participation of the personality itself and reflects the originality of its inner world. If a person is an organization of values, then the core of such a functional unity is self-esteem [60; from. 220].

The leading role is given to self-assessment in the framework of the study of problems of self-consciousness: it is characterized as the core of this process, an indicator of the individual level of its development, its personal aspect, organically included in the process of self-knowledge. Self-esteem is associated with the evaluation functions of self-knowledge, which incorporate the emotional - value attitude of a person to himself, the specificity of his understanding of himself [62].

B. G. Ananiev expressed the opinion that self-esteem is the most complex and multifaceted component of self-awareness (a complex process of indirect self-knowledge, deployed in time, associated with movement from single, situational images through the integration of such situational images into a holistic education - the concept of self [63 ]), which is a direct expression of the assessment of other persons involved in personality development.

Self-esteem is also considered as an element of self-attitude, along with self-esteem, self-sympathy, self-acceptance, etc. ... So I. S. Kon [25; P. 367] talks about self-esteem, defining it as the final dimension of "I", expressing the measure of acceptance or rejection by the individual of himself.

A. N. Leont'ev proposes to interpret self-esteem through the category of “feeling” as a stable emotional relationship that has a “pronounced objective character that is the result of a specific generalization of emotions” [32; S. 304].

M. I. Kovel "Self-esteem as the basis of self-regulation and internal motivation" - it is stated that self-esteem is the basis of internal motivation and is closely associated with the process of cognition [64].

To understand the difference between self-esteem and introspection, we quote Yu. B. Gippenreiter [15; P. 34-47], which shows the difference, in the words of the world famous storyteller, G. H. Andersen from the tale "The Ugly Duckling": "Remember the exciting moment when the duckling, becoming a young swan, swam to the royal birds and said: “Kill me!” While still feeling like an ugly and miserable creature. At the expense of one "introspection" he could have changed this self-esteem if the admired relatives did not bow their heads before him. "

The structure of self-esteem is represented by two components - cognitive and emotional. The first reflects a person’s knowledge of himself, the second - his attitude to himself as a measure of self-satisfaction [67].

In the activity of self-assessment, these components function in an inextricable unity: in its pure form, neither one nor the other can be represented / I.I. Chesnokova /.

The basis of the cognitive component of self-esteem is the operation of comparing oneself with other people, comparing one’s qualities with the developed standards. Self-assessment is characterized by the following parameters:

1) level - high, medium, low

2) correlation with real success - adequate and inadequate

3) structural features - conflict and conflict-free

The nature of the temporal relevance distinguishes prognostic, relevant and retrospective self-esteem.

The psychological dictionary says: “Self-esteem of a developed individual forms a complex system that determines the nature of an individual’s self-attitude and includes a general self-esteem, reflecting the level of self-esteem, holistic acceptance or non-acceptance of oneself, and partial, private self-esteem, characterizing the attitude to individual sides of his personality, actions, success of individual types of activities. Self-esteem can be of different levels of awareness ”[19; S. 343].

The analysis of self-esteem as self-evaluations of an activity made it possible to identify several of its functions: prognostic (consisting in regulating the activity of a person at the very initial stage of activity); corrective (aimed at monitoring and implementing the necessary adjustments); retrospective (used by the subject at the final stage of activity for summing up results, correlating goals, methods and means of performing an activity with its results [61; P. 22]).

We analyze self-esteem using the concepts of categories of activity - result, means, operations:

1) As a result of self-esteem, researchers distinguish the following characteristics: as a result of self-esteem, an individual learns whether performance exceeds the standard, equals it or does not reach it [58; S. 45-47]; the person verifies himself with the standard and, depending on the results of the verification, is satisfied or dissatisfied with himself [41]; statement by a person of qualitative, substantial features of his I, his physical strengths, mental abilities, actions, his attitude to others and himself [61; S. 22]; self-esteem can be of two kinds: complacency and dissatisfaction with oneself [17; S. 88]; self-assessment answers the question: “not what I have, but what does it cost, what does it mean” [9; S. 99].

Thus, the result of self-esteem is either a statement of certain qualities, or the result of comparing these qualities with a certain standard, or the result of some emotional-sensual attitude.

2) For the study of issues of self-esteem, research on means of self-esteem is also of great importance.

The following parameters are used as means or standards of self-esteem: value orientations and personal ideals (A.V. Petrovsky), worldview (C. L. Rubinstein), level of claims (L.I. Bozhovich, X. Hekhausen, etc.), "I" - the concept (E.T. Sokolova, V.V. Stolin), the requirements of the team (E.I.Savonko).

So, two types can enter into the functions of self-assessment tools: cognitive (I am a concept or its separate sides) and affective (values, ideals, level of claims, requirements). Summing up on this point, we can conclude that almost any phenomenon of a person’s being (including self-esteem itself) can be self-evaluated, that is, the meaningful field of self-esteem is infinite.

3) The following operations are distinguished in self-esteem: self-knowledge as constructing the image of “I-real” [10], comparing the assessed quality with the standard [61; P. 22], causal attribution of a comparison result; reaction (attitude, self-acceptance) to the achieved result [17; S. 88]. The causal attribution of the result is considered as an additional procedure, which can be applied both to the result of the comparison, and to the result of self-relationship, if they do not satisfy the evaluator. Then it turns out that only two types of fundamental operations are present in self-esteem: juxtaposition and self-attitude, which, placed in different contexts, acquire a different sound (for example, the design of “I-real” on “I-ideal” is based on comparison. A.
V. Petrovsky), self-criticism. Self-attitude has as its basis self-acceptance (L. B. Borozdin), self-satisfaction and dissatisfaction with oneself [9].

Self-esteem is dominant, and its expression is the level of claims, concludes L. B. Borozdina [10; P.141]. That is, the level of claims is considered a manifestation of self-esteem in the action of the individual. A similar problem arises in distinguishing between the concepts of self-esteem and achievement motivation. For example, X. Heckhausen argues that "the motive of achievement acts as a system of self-esteem" [58].

According to E. A. Serebryakova [53; P. 173], ideas about his abilities make the subject unstable in the choice of goals: his claims rise sharply after success and fall just as sharply after failure.

Level of claims - characterizes:

1) the level of difficulty, the achievement of which is the common goal of a series of future actions (ideal goal);

2) the choice by the subject of the goal of the next action, which is formed as a result of experiencing the success or failure of a number of past actions (level of claims at the moment);

3) the desired level of self-esteem of the person (level I).

The desire to increase self-esteem in a situation when a person is free to choose the degree of difficulty of the next action leads to a conflict of two trends - the tendency to increase aspirations in order to achieve maximum success, and the tendency to lower them in order to avoid failure. The experience of success (or failure) arising from the achievement (or non-achievement) of the level of claims entails a shift in the level of claims to the area of ​​more difficult (or easier) tasks. A decrease in the difficulty of the chosen goal after success or its increase after failure (atypical change in the level of claims) indicate an unrealistic level of claims or inadequate self-esteem [66].

W. James put forward his postulate regarding self-esteem [58, p. 162] - "self-esteem is directly proportional to success and inversely proportional to the claims, that is, the potential successes that the individual intended to achieve," in the form of a formula this can be represented as follows:

Self-esteem = claims / opportunities.

The origins of the ability to evaluate oneself are laid in early childhood, and its development and improvement takes place throughout a person’s life [67].

According to R. Burns, many psychologists believe that the personality structure and the basics of self-esteem are formed in the first five years of a person’s life [9].

Usually the opinion of oneself is based on the attitude of other people towards us [39; S. 132]. There are several sources of formation of self-esteem that change the weight of significance at different stages of the formation of personality: the assessment of other people; a circle of significant others or a reference group; actual comparison with others; - Comparison of the real and ideal I.

Self-esteem is also formed on the basis of evaluating the results of one's own activity, as well as on the basis of the correlation of real and ideal self-image [48; S. 440].

Low self-esteem can be due to many reasons: it can be adopted in childhood from your parents who have not figured out their personal problems; it can develop in a child due to poor performance at school; due to ridicule by peers or excessive criticism from adults; personal problems, inability to behave in certain situations also form a person’s unflattering opinion of himself [54; S. 410].

R. Burns speaks about this: “If parents acting as a social mirror for a child show love, respect and trust in their treatment, the child gets used to treating himself as a person worthy of these feelings” [9; S. 157].

The first who identified the type of family situation that forms a positive self in the child - the concept, was Scott [9]. After examining 1800 teenagers, he found that those who have an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust between parents and children at home, a willingness to accept each other, are more fit and independent in life, they have higher self-esteem. On the contrary, adolescents from families where discord reigns are less fit.

Virginia N. Quinn speaks on this issue: “Children with low self-esteem are not confident in themselves, their self-esteem is poorly developed. They often have difficulty communicating with other children, who, in turn, are reluctant to accept them. As a result, children with negative “I” concepts often have behavioral problems, which makes their peers, teachers, sports trainers, and other group leaders worse off. And this further undermines the self-esteem of such children. There were cases when problems with the “I” - a concept that arose in the first grade, affected the whole future life of the child ”[39, p. 285].

Thus, high self-esteem develops in children in families that are distinguished by cohesion and solidarity [9]. “More positive is the attitude of the mother to her husband. In the eyes of the child, parents are always successful. He readily follows the patterns of behavior set by them, persistently and successfully solves the everyday tasks that confront him, as he feels confidence in his abilities. He is less susceptible to stress and anxiety, benevolently and realistically perceives the world around him and himself ”[9; S. 149-150].

In boys with high self-esteem, the level of claims is higher [9]. Thus, children with high self-esteem have higher goals and more often succeed. And, conversely, children with low self-esteem are characterized by very modest goals and lack of confidence in the possibility of achieving them.

“High self-esteem,” says R. Burns, “[9, p. 151] provides a good command of the technique of social contacts, allows an individual to show his value without special efforts. The child acquired the ability to cooperate in the family, the confidence that he was surrounded by love, care and attention. All this creates a solid foundation for its social development. ” We see that the authors agree in their opinion on the formation of self-esteem in childhood, which, nevertheless, lays the foundation for the entire subsequent life of the individual; for example, I. Yu. Kulagina, V. N. Kolyutsky [24] emphasize that in children with high or low self-esteem it is extremely difficult to change its level.

Chuck T. Folkan [54] says that if a person does what he loves, in the course of time he gains experience and skill, which he has the right to be proud of. This is one of the conditions that make up normal self-esteem. Each person creates for himself an image of a perfect "I". It has qualities that are valuable in the eyes of parents, peers, teachers, and people who enjoy authority [39]. It may vary depending on the environment. If real qualities correspond to the ideal or come close to it, a person will have a high self-esteem.

“A sober and objective attitude towards oneself forms the basis of normal self-esteem” [54, p. 485].

Summing up, we can conclude: self-esteem is a component of self-consciousness, has a reflective nature, includes such elements as: the image of “I am real,” “I am ideal,” the result of matching these images and self-relation to the result of matching. Self-esteem is a reflective component of self-awareness that performs a regulatory function; it is the relation of the individual to the results of comparing his images of the real and ideal "I".
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Psychological analysis of self-esteem

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