It is more an extension of Enlightenment philosophical principles than science
Actually, a lot of the contemporary shit draws from various eastern religions/philosophy too - its a fairly eclectic field. I have more of an issue with the degenerate pop-psychology its responsible for creating, and the self improvement industry surrounding it that markets mostly snake oil. The pharmaceutical aspect is pretty shady too, but whatever.
Rational or not, generic behavioral patterns and responses do exist - probably one of the reasons cult leaders can be so successful at manipulating people. Confidence/self-esteem related issues are actually some of the few dysfunctions that psychologists can fix with a decent success rate.
What is the basis of the above quoted systemization of self-esteem?
Explicit SE is self reported, Implicit SE they try to get at through various methods (mainly IAT, https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/
A number of indirect assessment techniques have been
developed to measure implicit SE by recording responses that are
nonobviously related to self-evaluations or that respondents cannot
easily control (see Bosson, Swann, & Pennebaker, 2000). These
measures may allow researchers to assess self-evaluations at levels
of awareness that cannot be accessed by self-report measures.
Indeed, measures of implicit SE have been found to correlate only
weakly, at best, with self-report measures of explicit SE, suggesting that they measure distinct types of self-evaluation (e.g., Bosson
et al., 2000; Farnham, Greenwald, & Banaji, 1999). Because
knowing an individual’s level of explicit SE tells us virtually
nothing about his or her level of implicit SE, many individuals who
report positive self-views may also possess relatively negative
... people may sometimes directly experience their levels of
implicit SE. When implicit and explicit SE are congruent, such
experiences are not likely to be consequential. When explicit and
implicit SE are inconsistent, however, such awareness might be
experienced as an aversive inconsistency within the self, especially
when implicit SE is more negative than explicit SE. In this case,
people may experience their low implicit SE as inexplicably negative self-feelings or nagging doubts about their competence and
worth. Such aversive experiences, we suggest, are likely to motivate them to deny their negative implicit self-views and to actively
strive to defend their explicitly positive self-views. Thus, in the
present studies, we explored whether the correspondence between
explicit and implicit SE predicts various indicators of defensiveness, specifically narcissism, in-group bias, and cognitive dissonance reduction. We predicted that individuals with high explicit
but low implicit SE would behave more defensively than individuals with high explicit and high implicit SE.
In this study and in all studies reported herein, we measured
implicit SE with the Implicit Associations Test (IAT; Greenwald,
McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998). Of the extant measures of implicit
SE, the IAT has shown the highest reliability (Bosson et al., 2000)
and greater evidence of its construct validity. For example, the SE
IAT predicts responses to success and failure (Greenwald & Farnham, 2001), the experience of positive emotions (Bosson et al.,
2000), and persistence in the face of failure (Jordan et al., 2002).
We thus measured participants’ levels of explicit and implicit
SE and examined whether the correspondence between them is
related to narcissism. We expected individuals with high explicit
but low implicit SE to show the highest levels of narcissism
Secure and Defensive High Self-Esteem
Christian H. Jordan, Steven J. Spencer, Mark P. Zanna, Etsuko Hoshino-Browne, and Joshua Correll
University of Waterloo
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
2003, Vol. 85, No. 5, 969 –978 0022-3514/03/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.529http://www.sakkyndig.com/psykologi/artvit/jordan2003.pdf