Views of One

Views of One - Views of One's Close Partner as Affected by...

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Views of One’s Close Partner as Affected by Self-Esteem Sean Hilton Original Hypothesis Self-esteem correlates with how one perceives the social and physical attributes of a close friend – low self-esteem resulting in lower and less accurate perceptions of a partner’s qualities than high self-esteem. Also, individuals with low self-esteem will over-rate (or downplay to themselves) the importance of being attractive or socially skilled, whereas high self-esteemed individuals will judge their partners more objectively. A person with low self-esteem will be more likely to give an accurate account of the partner the less attractive/social the partner is. Original Rationale People with high self-esteem express confidence in who they are as physical and social beings, therefore they are more willing to say objectively that a friend is attractive or social because it will not negatively affect how they see themselves. On the other hand, people with low self-esteem are looking to compare themselves positively with others, and the more attractive and social they perceive a friend to be, the worse they are able to compare with that friend. Therefore people with low self-esteem will subjectively judge a friend to be less attractive and/or social than (s)he actually is to match up more favorably with that friend. Also, people with low self-esteem, to rationalize a partners’ high attractiveness and social qualities, will overemphasize the importance to the partner of being attractive and social, more so than will people with high self-esteem. Lastly, because a friend with very humble qualities in attractiveness and social interaction boosts the appearance of the person with low esteem, that person is more likely to be accurate in the description of the
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humble friend. The above is assumed for subjects of the same sex as their partners, and for subjects of average attractiveness/social skills to ensure that the comparison effects are at work. Revised Hypothesis The hypothesis guiding this project is that different levels of self-esteem (SE) influence the degree to which one views a close partner as attractive or socially adept. Low SE is expected to lead people to lower views of a partner’s attractiveness and social abilities compared to individuals of high self esteem. In addition, when individuals rate partners as more attractive/sociable than themselves, low SE subjects will claim that their partners place a higher importance on being attractive and socially skilled than will high SE subjects. The rationale that reinforces my hypothesis is that persons of low SE tend to be focused on the self and therefore are especially likely to engage in social comparison (and reflection) with their partners. Assuming that physical attractiveness and social skills are relevant to the low SE subjects, social comparison with a close friend will cause the subject to see the partner’s
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2008 for the course PSYC 126 taught by Professor Margaretclark during the Fall '07 term at Yale.

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Views of One - Views of One's Close Partner as Affected by...

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