-Healthy Self-Knowledge: according to Taylor & Brown (1988), good mental health includes
several systematic distortions:!
1. exaggerating positive self-evaluation (people tend to think they are a better than
2. exaggerating perception of control (because we live in an unpredictable world- people
need to live life under an illusion of control so they don’t live in fear).!
3. having unrealistic optimism.!
•Caution: there is an optimal margin of illusion for healthy adjustment.!
-Self Esteem: a sense of personal worth. there are two roots to self-esteem:!
1. social feedback!
2. direct experience of eﬃcacy!
•empirical studies show that self-esteem is stable.!
•the development of self-esteem (Orth & Robins, 2014):!
1. self-esteem increases from adolescence to middle adulthood, and peaks at 50-60
years old. it drops as you continue aging because you lose autonomy.!
2. self-esteem is relatively stable.!
3. high self-esteem predicts success and well-being in life domains such as
relationships, work, and health. !
•to increase our self-esteem we engage in social comparison:!
1. downward comparison (comparing with someone who lacks in something you don’t)!
2. upward comparison (comparing with someone who has achieved a lot and use it to
motivate yourself - “if he can achieve it, I surely can”). make sure you’re comparing
your actual self and not your ideal self.!
3. similar comparison (gives you a good sense of your own ability)!
-The Dark Side of Self-Esteem:!
•people whose inﬂated favourable self-esteem is threatened often react by putting others
down, sometimes with violence. !
•for example, gang leaders will become aggressive when others challenge them. !
•self-aggrandizing form of self-esteem vs. genuine self-esteem (Salmivalli 1999):!
-Cycle of Self-Esteem:!
•Low Self-Esteem (1) → Negative Expectation (2)→ Low Eﬀort, High Anxiety (3)→ Failure (4)
→ Self Blame (feeds into notion of self esteem)!
-Self- Awareness: refers to the state in which one’s attention is focused on oneself and one is
comparing self with a set of standards.!
-state & trait!