Argumentative Essay On The Sociometer Theory, Based On The Article Titled Making Sense Of Self Esteem Mark R. Leary1

1374 words - 5 pages

The psychological definition of self-esteem is a self-reflection of one's total evaluation or assessment of his or her own value. The first question to be posed is what is the role of self-esteem in the social realm of humans and why are so many human behaviours devoted to maintain it? In Mark R Leary's article, he states that while "social engineers have suggested that high self-esteem is a remedy for many psychological and social problems," there is no solid conclusion as to why "low self-esteem is associated with psychological difficulties." Leary then presents his sociometer theory which is a theory of self-esteem from an evolutionary psychological perspective that proposes that self-esteem is a gauge of interpersonal relationships. I agree with Leary's theory and the fact that there are limits to what people think about themselves and what the society makes them think and believe about themselves alongside the results of such direct influences on one's esteem of their self.Human beings are social creatures and "they possess an inherent "need" to feel good about themselves." As such the human species is naturally driven toward establishing and sustaining belongingness and a desire to attain some minimum level of acceptance from and closeness to, a interpersonal motive that guides human behavior. A predominated human need for belongingness presumably requires some systematic means of monitoring others' reactions to oneself, and Leary suggested that self-esteem serves that very function. Self-esteem functions to propel a person's real and ideal self, and it signals people to behave accordingly to pursue the ideal self with "subjective feedback about the adequacy of the self' with the measurements from their self-esteem. This feedback then allows a person a method to be able to maintain dominance in social relationships. The reactions from others assert the dominance factor and as such, "feelings of self-esteem became tied to social approval and deference."The sociometer monitors the quality of relationships in human beings between one's self and others. Humans readily form relation bonds with others, spend considerable time thinking about their relationships, resist the dissolution of their existing attachments, and suffer various forma of physical and mental maladies if their belongingness needs are not met. "The theory is based on the assumption that human beings possess a pervasive drive to maintain significant interpersonal relationships, a drive that evolved because early human beings who belonged to social groups were more likely to survive than those who did not." Being rejected would limit one's survival and reproductive success and as such, human beings developed internal socimeters which monitored the "degree to which other people valued and accepted them." The sociometer reads into cues of acceptance and rejection of one's self and this defines one's level of self-esteem. The need to belong is intimately tied to emotions, even...

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