Verifying relational value: the moderating role of self-esteem in seeking self-verifying feedback.




Reddoch, Lisa

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People feel discomfort when they receive feedback about their relational value that is inconsistent with their self-esteem and certainty when they receive feedback that is consistent (Stinson et al., 2010). Feeling discomfort prompts additional feedback-seeking to confirm or disprove the original feedback (Swann, 1987). Feeling certainty does not. People base their self-views on years of experience and so are more likely to seek self-view consistent feedback (Swann, 1987). Participants were given high relational value feedback to invoke discomfort in individuals with low self-esteem (LSEs) but not individuals with high self-esteem (HSEs). Participants were then able to seek additional relational-value feedback. LSEs were expected to seek self-esteem consistent feedback to reduce discomfort whereas HSEs were not expected to seek additional feedback because they would not be experiencing discomfort. Results did not support these hypotheses for all participants: Single LSEs sought feedback as a function of self-esteem but mated LSEs did not.



Self-Esteem, Motivation, Self-Verification