Esteem and Social Connections

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From Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Social risk interacts with self-esteem to predict relationship-initiation motivation and behavior. However, because socially risky situations afford both rewards and costs, it is unclear which affordance is responsible for these effects. Across two experiments studying different methods of relationship initiation, using different methods of manipulating the salience of rewards and costs, and assessing a variety of indicators of relationship-initiation motivation.

The findings of this research suggest that global self-esteem regulates responses to both costs and rewards during relationship initiation. The pattern of results indicate a complex association between social affordances and self-esteem during relationship initiation that is not predicted or explained by current theoretical models and thus deserves further empirical attention.

Relationship Matters Podcast Number 43 “Self-Esteem and Social Connections”: Danu Stinson from University of Victoria, USA talks about how your sense of self guides your social interactions and confidence levels when initiating new relationships.

 

Abstract

Social risk interacts with self-esteem to predict relationship-initiation motivation and behavior. However, because socially risky situations afford both rewards and costs, it is unclear which affordance is responsible for these effects. Two experiments primed social rewards or costs within different relationship-initiation contexts and then evaluated participants’ relationship-initiation motivation and behavior. Results revealed that global self-esteem regulates responses to both affordances. When social rewards were primed, lower self-esteem individuals (LSEs) exhibited stronger relationship-initiation motivation than higher self-esteem individuals (HSEs), whereas the reverse was true when social costs were primed. Furthermore, LSEs exhibited the strongest relationship-initiation motivation when rewards were primed, whereas HSEs exhibited the strongest relationship-initiation motivation and used more successful relationship-initiation behaviors when costs were primed. This pattern of results suggests a complex association between social affordances and self-esteem during relationship initiation that is not predicted or explained by current theoretical models and thus deserves further empirical attention.

 

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Article details
Danu Anthony Stinson,  Jessica J. Cameron,  and Kelley J. Robinson
The good, the bad, and the risky: Self-esteem, rewards and costs, and interpersonal risk regulation during relationship initiation Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 0265407514558961, first published on November 27, 2014 doi:10.1177/0265407514558961

 

 

 

     
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