What is Self-Esteem In Behavioral Science?

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-Esteem is a widely recognized concept in behavioral science, referring to an individual’s overall subjective sense of their own worth or value. It is a central aspect of personal identity, emotional health, and interpersonal relationships.


Self-Esteem is defined as the subjective evaluation of oneself, encompassing beliefs about oneself (for example, “I am worthy”, “I am competent”) and an associated emotional state. High self-esteem involves a positive self-evaluation, while low self-esteem involves a negative self-evaluation.

Key Aspects

  • Self-Worth

    At the heart of self-esteem is a sense of self-worth, which involves recognizing one’s own value and importance as an individual.

  • Self-Confidence

    Self-confidence is closely tied to self-esteem. Individuals with high self-esteem typically have a strong belief in their abilities and potential.

  • Self-Acceptance

    Self-esteem involves accepting oneself, including both strengths and weaknesses. This aspect emphasizes understanding and acknowledging one’s limitations and not being overly critical of oneself.

Role in Behavioral Science

In behavioral science, self-esteem is often studied in relation to mental health, social behavior, and motivation. High self-esteem is linked to greater mental well-being, healthier social relationships, and increased motivation and effort in pursuing goals. Conversely, low self-esteem is associated with various mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety.

Implications for Behavior Change

Understanding self-esteem can be useful for interventions aimed at promoting mental health, enhancing motivation, and improving social interactions. Strategies may include cognitive-behavioral techniques to challenge negative self-beliefs and promote positive self-evaluation, mindfulness practices to enhance self-acceptance, and interventions aimed at developing skills and competencies to boost self-confidence.

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