The Psychological Definition of Self Esteem and Self Concept

In the area of science of the mind and psychology, the definition of self esteem has many technical variations, but there is an umbrella concept that can adequately explain what self esteem and the concept of the self is actually. In laymen terms, self esteem is how a person measure’s his overall worth and this can be attributed to the sum total of his own gifts and abilities versus his perceived failures. When talking with jargon and terms lime ‘worth’, perhaps you may be assuming that there is some mathematics to the soul; and in this case there is – of sorts.

There are established psychological tests and appraisals that allow the psychologist or the therapist to actually measure self esteem. While the numbers will never be accurate there will be scales of measurement and generalities that they can be placed in. About 50 years ago, one social learning theorist named Morris Rosenberg came up with the Rosenberg self esteem scale, which is one of the measuring tools used to assess how much of the potential self esteem in a person is being used as well as how they appraised the ’self’. Rosenberg believed that worth could be taken on to its literal meaning, that there was some sort of human currency to be measured and this currency, this value, this rate was actually measured by the person himself.

Others argued that self esteem is not something to be placed on a scale, because it was a basic human need, a crucial element in human psychology and the make up of the human personality. Everyone needs self esteem and no one can survive without it. Another camp believes that self esteem is something that is automatic within us, in the sense of the consciousness and the subconscious at work. Of course, when we are talking about self esteem, we understand the processes that lead up to its build up happens in the subconscious, which opens up much more theories of the process of cortical and neural evolution and how it ties in with emotional maturity and processes in the brain that gravitates around personality, character, rationale and confidence.

It is no mystery that all these areas are related, and that the subconscious has a part to play in all of this. To put it simply, the subconscious has always been seen as the director of all human emotions, perceived or not, and self esteem, confidence and assertiveness are large parts of this equation. This is where the idea of the self concept also comes in, as the self concept is how one perceives one self, and this is the neural imprint of their perceived self. This person may be either higher or lower (in image) than the person that is represented in real life. A person with high confidence might project an image of a person that is much better than what they really are, and the confidence makes up for the difference. If you believe you are that good, then others will too.

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