Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman


  • Shin-ichi SuzukiEmail author
  • Koseki Shunsuke
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_428-2



Self-esteem can be defined as a positive self-evaluation or a concept broader than confidence. It refers to an individual’s cognitive appraisal that is constant over time. A positive self-appraisal indicates higher self-esteem, and a negative self-appraisal indicates lower self-esteem. Self-esteem is not perceived anytime, but it essentially influences one’s actions, consciousness, or attitude. One who is perceived to have high self-esteem pursues goals aggressively and actively. Further, they are perceived to be amiable by themselves or by others. In this sense, self-esteem becomes indispensable to mental health or social adaptation.

In the previous study concerning self-esteem, an individual’s self-esteem was considered in terms of not only his or her tendency and degrees of appraisal, which could be positive or negative, but also its relationship with the individual’s cognitive faculty. James (1890) propounded that “self-esteem is successes divided by desire.” This formula suggests that just thinking that one could succeed in the desired field increases self-satisfaction. This formula is similar to the theory on the gap between ideal self and real self (Rogers et al. 1951).

An individual’s self-esteem strongly correlates with the affection, unconditional acceptance, and nurturing attitude that the parents display. Self-esteem can be measured in various ways, the most representative being Rosenberg’s (1965) questionnaire and Coopersmith’s (1967) scales. Because each scale may be different in terms of its dimensionalities or factors, it is necessary to consider the characteristics of the scales used or interpreted on a case-by-case basis.


References and Further Reading

  1. Coopersmith, S. (1967). The antecedents of self-esteem. San Francisco: WH Freeman.Google Scholar
  2. James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  3. Rogers, C. R., Dorfman, E., Gordon, T., & Hobbs, N. (1951). Client-centered therapy: Its current practice, implications, and theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  4. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and adolescent self-image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Human SciencesGraduate School of Human Sciences, Waseda UniversityTokorozawa-shi, SaitamaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Psychology and EducationJ. F. Oberlin UniversityMachida-shiJapan

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kazuhiro Yoshiuchi
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of TokyoDepartment of Stress Sciences & Psychosomatic Medicine, Graduate School of MedicineBunkyo-kuJapan