COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The desire to feel worthy and valuable -- self-esteem -- trumps almost any other pleasant activity such as sex or drinking alcohol, U.S. researchers suggest.
Lead author Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology, and Jennifer Crocker, professor of psychology, both at Ohio State University in Columbus, and Scott Moeller of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y.
The researchers asked college students to rate how much they wanted and liked various pleasant activities -- sex, favorite foods, drinking alcohol, seeing a best friend, receiving a paycheck or self-esteem building experiences, such as receiving a good grade or receiving a compliment.
"We found that self-esteem trumped all other rewards in the minds of these college students," Bushman says in a statement.
In another study, the college students took a test they were told measured their intellectual ability, but if they waited an additional 10 minutes their test could be re-scored that could yield higher results.
Students who highly valued self-esteem were more likely to stay to get the new scores, Bushman says.
"They were willing to spend their own precious time just to get a small boost in their self-esteem," Bushman adds.
"American society seems to believe that self-esteem is the cure-all for every social ill, from bad grades to teen pregnancies to violence, but there has been no evidence that boosting self-esteem actually helps with these problems."
The findings are published online ahead of print in the Journal of Personality.
|Additional Health News Stories|
LONDON, May 18 (UPI) --Detectives with London's Metropolitan Police Friday urged their Portuguese counterparts to reopen the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) --James Taylor will headline a concert at the White House next week, when the Library of Congress honors Carole King with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
CHICAGO, May 18 (UPI) --Consulting firm Accenture said it would buy Chicago start-up marketing firm Acquity Group for $316 million or $13 per share, more than double its share value.