Attentional characteristics of different types of individuals with high self-esteem in self-threatening situations

  • Shen LiuEmail author
  • Qun Tan
  • Xiaohui Yang
  • Lin ZhangEmail author


The high self-esteem (HSE) heterogeneity hypothesis provides a new research perspective for investigating differences in the quantity and quality of different types of self-esteem. The present study adopted the emotional Stroop paradigm and the odd-one-out search task to explore how individuals with different types of self-esteem process social information in self-threatening situations. The results showed that individuals with different types of self-esteem had an attentional bias toward negative information and had different attentional biases toward angry faces in self-threatening situations. Individuals with fragile HSE and low self-esteem showed facilitated attention to angry faces and had difficulty drawing attention away from them; secure HSE individuals only showed difficulty disengaging attention from angry faces.


Fragile high self-esteem Secure high self-esteem Low self-esteem Attentional bias Self-threatening 



The National Social Science Fund of China (12BSH055), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71874170) and the K.C. Wong Magna Fund at Ningbo University supported this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department and Institute of PsychologyNingbo UniversityNingboChina
  2. 2.School of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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