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The Case Against Self-Esteem: Alternative Philosophies Toward Self That Would Raise the Probability of Pleasurable and Productive Living

  • Terry P. London
Article

Abstract

This article discusses two major aspects of the self-esteem movement in public education and psychotherapy to make a strong case that trying to raise or enhance self-esteem in students (as a preventive) or clients (as a treatment) is an unproductive palliative/diversionary intervention that does not lead to emotional health or long-term enjoyment in one's existence. In order to build a case against self-esteem, the two major aspects that will be examined are the following:

1.A clear and precise definition of the self-esteem construct, based on anexhaustive meta-analysis of self-esteem theory/literature in order to evaluateits core philosophical structure.

2.A summary of the research data on self-esteem enhancement, which shows there is no scientific evidence to support even a correlation between higher self-esteem and mental health, productive behaviors, and pleasure inliving.

This article proposes that a philosophy of unconditional self-acceptance (USA), a core construct found in many of the Eastern and Western traditions dealing with productive and pleasurable living, is a desirable philosophy for increasing long-term happiness in one's existence.

Keywords

Mental Health Scientific Evidence Public Education Research Data Precise Definition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terry P. London
    • 1
  1. 1.Chicago Institute for REBTUSA

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