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Old 11-19-2011, 12:11 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,569
Default Re: Science Saturday: Exercising Self-Control (Joshua Knobe & Roy Baumeister)

Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
What do you mean? Is he advocating low self esteem?
No. he is saying that improving self-esteem doesn't usually cause other useful changes. Improvements in self-esteem are usually the result of, not the cause of, other positive changes. It's a symptom, not a cause.

The classic example is the old attempts to improve kids' grades by (among other things) improving their self-esteem. People had noted that kids with good grades also tended to have high self-esteem. So they decided that if they could improve poorer performers' self-esteem, they could improve their grades. It tended not to work, and subsequent research suggested that the link was because kids had high self-esteem in response to good grades, rather than the reverse.

There are some areas in which self-esteem appears to cause other good outcomes, but they are very focused and limited. I said "self-esteem movement", and intended to (i often say things I don't intend to. ;-) )

This is the usual reference. It's pretty accessible for lay people as well (not that you are one).

Here's his bio, which sums it up a little:
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