The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments on the previous version of this manuscript. Portions of these data were presented at the 35th annual convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association, April 15, 1989, in Houston.
Stability of Self-Esteem: Assessment, Correlates, and Excuse Making
Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 60, Issue 3, pages 621–644, September 1992
How to Cite
Kernis, M. H., Grannemann, B. D. and Barclay, L. C. (1992), Stability of Self-Esteem: Assessment, Correlates, and Excuse Making. Journal of Personality, 60: 621–644. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1992.tb00923.x
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received August 21, 1990; revised March 28, 1991.
ABSTRACT We examined stability and level of self-esteem as predictors of excuse making; the extent to which self-ratings of stability are related to a statistical index of self-esteem stability; and the relations between stability and certainty of self-esteem and a variety of other psychological constructs. Regarding excuse making, our findings indicated that for high self-esteem individuals, instability was related to greater excuse making following success, but not following failure. However, for low self-esteem individuals, instability was related to greater excuse making following failure, but not following success. Other findings indicated that self-ratings of stability were only minimally related to a statistical measure of stability based on repeated assessments of self-esteem obtained in naturalistic contexts. Finally, stability of self-esteem was not significantly correlated with certainty of self-esteem. In addition, the pattern of correlations that emerged between certainty and other constructs suggested that uncertainty reflects the phenomenal experience of a tenuous self-view. On the other hand, stability of self-esteem appears to reflect the extent to which one's self-view is malleable, which may not be completely available to conscious awareness. Our discussion focuses on the nature of self-esteem stability and the roles of stability and level of self-esteem in reactions to evaluative events.