Skip to main content
Log in

Unconditional Self-Acceptance and Responses to Negative Feedback

  • Published:
Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT; Ellis, 1995) contends that esteeming oneself—favorably or unfavorably—is illogical (implying an objective basis for evaluating global worth) and counterproductive (making one prone to depression in the wake of setbacks, anxiety otherwise). A healthier outlook requires unconditional self-acceptance (USA). We evaluated predictions regarding USA in a nonclinical university student sample. Consistent with REBT, participants scoring high on a USA questionnaire, controlling for self-esteem level, reported being low in proneness to depression and in self-esteem lability. They also were more objective in evaluating their performance on a public speaking task and were less apt to denigrate people who provided negative evaluations of their speeches. Predictions regarding impression management, willingness to try another speech, and mood or state self-esteem reactivity to feedback were not supported. Discussion focused on implications for research on USA as well as applied implications for therapy or prevention programs.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

REFERENCES

  • Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alloy, L. B., Hartlage, S., Metalsky, G. I., & Abramson, L. Y. (1987). The Depression Proneness Inventory: A brief, face-valid scale of vulnerability to depressive reactions in response to stress. Unpublished manuscript, Temple University.

  • Baumeister, R. F., Smart, L., & Boden J.M. (1996). Relation of threatened egotism to violence and aggression: The dark side of high self-esteem. Psychological Review, 103, 5–33.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Chamberlain, J. M., & Haaga, D. A. F. (2001). Unconditional self-acceptance and psychological health. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 19, 163–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dykman, B. (1998). Integrating cognitive and motivational factors in depression: Initial tests of a goal-orientation approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 139–158.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ellis, A. (1973). Humanistic psychotherapy: The rational-emotive approach. New York: Julian.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellis, A. (1976). RET abolishes most of the human ego. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 13, 343–348.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellis, A. (1977). Psychotherapy and the value of a human being. In A. Ellis & R. Grieger (Eds.), Handbook of rational-emotive therapy (pp. 99–112). New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellis, A., & Bernard, M. E. (1985). What is rational-emotive therapy (RET)? In A. Ellis and M.E. Bernard (Eds.), Clinical applications of rational emotive therapy (pp. 1–30). New York: Plenum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellis, A., & Dryden, W. (1997). The practice of rational emotive behavior therapy (2nd Ed.). New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellis, A., & Harper, R. A. (1997). A guide to rational living (3rd Ed.). North Hollywood, CA: Wilshire.

    Google Scholar 

  • Engels, G. I., Garnefski, N., & Diekstra, R. F. W. (1993). Efficacy of rationalemotive therapy; A quantitative analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 1083–1090.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Greenier, K. D., Kernis, M. H., McNamara, C. W., Waschull, S. B., Berry, A. J., Herlocker, C. E., & Abend, T. A. (1999). Individual differences in reactivity to daily events: Examining the roles of stability and level of selfesteem. Journal of Personality, 67, 185–208.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Heatherton, T. F., & Polivy, J. (1991). Development and validation of a scale for measuring state self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 895–910.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kernis, M. H., Cornell, D. P., Sun, C., Berry, A., & Harlow, T. (1993). There's more to self-esteem than whether it is high or low: The importance of stability of self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1190–1204.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kernis, M. H., Grannemann, B. D., & Barclay, L. C. (1992). Stability of selfesteem: Assessment, correlates, and excuse making. Journal of Personality, 60, 621–644.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Paulhus, D. L. (1984). Two-component models of socially desirable responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 598–609.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, J. P., & Shaver, P. R. (1973). Measures of social psychological attitudes. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, C. R. (1961). On becoming a person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sackeim, H. A., & Gur, R. C. (1978). Self-deception, self-confrontation, and consciousness. In G. E. Schwartz and D. Shapiro (Eds.), Consciousness and self-regulation: Advances in research (Vol. 2, pp. 139–197). New York: Plenum Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schlenker, B. R., Soraci, S., & McCarthy, B. (1976). Self-esteem and group performance as determinants of egocentric perceptions in cooperative groups. Human Relations, 29, 1163–1176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tarlow, E. M., & Haaga, D. A. F. (1996). Negative self-concept: Specificity todepressive symptoms and relation to positive and negative affectivity.Journal of Research in Personality, 30, 120–127.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chamberlain, J.M., Haaga, D.A.F. Unconditional Self-Acceptance and Responses to Negative Feedback. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 19, 177–189 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011141500670

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011141500670

Navigation