Reconstruing past selves following threats to self-esteem and effects on construal level.

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  • Author(s): Briggs, Jessie C.. Temple University, Psychology, US
  • Source:
    Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, Vol 80(11-B)(E), 2019.
  • Publisher:
    US : ProQuest Information & Learning
  • Language:
    English
  • Document Type:
    Dissertation
  • Publication Type:
    Dissertation Abstract
  • Additional Information
    • Other Journal Titles:
      Dissertation Abstracts International
    • ISSN:
      0419-4217 (Print)
    • ISBN:
      978-1392185582
    • Keywords:
      threats, self-esteem, effects, construal level
    • Abstract:
      Previous research on Temporal Self-Appraisal Theory demonstrated that people make downward comparisons to their past selves. Researchers have discussed this tendency to denigrate past selves as a self-esteem maintenance strategy; however, little research has been done on how people recall their past selves following active threats to their self-esteem. Reconstruing one's past self for self-enhancement may lead to changes in construal level. I conducted three studies in which participants were randomly assigned to either an intelligence self-esteem threat or control condition and then tasked to recall an autobiographical memory, rate attributes of their recalled past self, and complete a measure of construal level. In the pilot study (N = 113), participants were free to recall any memory of their choosing. In Studies 1 and 2, participants recalled and rated two memories from early high-school: pre- and post-threat manipulation. Participants in Study 1 (N = 240) recalled their academic experience, while participants in Study 2 (N = 243) recalled their interpersonal relationships. A pattern emerged across studies suggesting that when people recall autobiographical memories related to the domain in which their self-esteem has been threatened (an academic memory and intelligence threat), threatened participants are more likely to denigrate their past selves (lower endorsement of positive self-attributes post-manipulation than pre-test) than controls in threat-relevant traits (competence, knowledge). This pattern is accompanied by an increased likelihood to recall positive transformations and periods of growth, as opposed to stability. However, a relationship with construal level was not observed. Further, when people recall autobiographical memories unrelated to the domain in which their self-esteem has been threatened (an interpersonal memory and intelligence threat), threatened participants are more likely to idealize their past selves (higher endorsement of positive self-attributes post-manipulation than pre-test) than controls in threat-irrelevant traits (likeable, attractive). However, this pattern was only observed for those who demonstrated fixed mindsets, emphasizing stability, and was not associated with an impact on construal level. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
    • Dissertation Details:
      UMI Order Number: AAI13858872
      OpenURL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqm&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:13858872
      Advisor(s): Andrew Karpinski
      Degree: Ph.D., 2019
      Institution: Temple University
      Department: Psychology
    • Subject Terms:
    • PsycINFO Classification:
      Social Psychology (3000)
      Personality Psychology (3100)
    • Population:
      Human
    • Methodology:
      Empirical Study; Quantitative Study
    • Physical Description:
      Electronic
    • Publication Date:
      20191216
    • Accession Number:
      2019-46355-029
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      BRIGGS, J. C. Reconstruing past selves following threats to self-esteem and effects on construal level. 2019. ProQuest Information & Learning, [s. l.], 2019. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2019-46355-029. Acesso em: 19 fev. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Briggs JC. Reconstruing past selves following threats to self-esteem and effects on construal level. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. 2019;80(11-B(E)). http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2019-46355-029. Accessed February 19, 2020.
    • APA:
      Briggs, J. C. (2019). Reconstruing past selves following threats to self-esteem and effects on construal level [ProQuest Information & Learning]. In Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering (Vol. 80, Issue 11–B(E)).
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Briggs, Jessie C. 2019. “Reconstruing Past Selves Following Threats to Self-Esteem and Effects on Construal Level.” Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2019-46355-029.
    • Harvard:
      Briggs, J. C. (2019) Reconstruing past selves following threats to self-esteem and effects on construal level, Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2019-46355-029 (Accessed: 19 February 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Briggs, JC 2019, ‘Reconstruing past selves following threats to self-esteem and effects on construal level’, ProQuest Information & Learning, Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, vol. 80, no. 11–B(E), viewed 19 February 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Briggs, Jessie C. “Reconstruing Past Selves Following Threats to Self-Esteem and Effects on Construal Level.” Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, vol. 80, no. 11–B(E), ProQuest Information & Learning, 2019. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2019-46355-029.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Briggs, Jessie C. “Reconstruing Past Selves Following Threats to Self-Esteem and Effects on Construal Level.” Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning, 2019. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2019-46355-029.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Briggs JC. Reconstruing past selves following threats to self-esteem and effects on construal level [Internet]. Vol. 80, Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning; 2019 [cited 2020 Feb 19]. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2019-46355-029