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Appraisal Self-respect: Scale Validation and Construct ImplicationsDespite the widely accepted recognition of the notion of self-respect and its importance for emotional well-being, it has received scant attention in the psychological literature. We report on the development and validation of a scale to measure trait (character-based) appraisal self-respect (ASR), conceptualised as a disposition to perceive or appraise oneself as being a respectworthy honourable person. We tested the factor structure, reliability, convergent, discriminant and criterion validity of the ASR scale in samples of adult individuals (combined N = 1910 across samples). The resulting ASR scale was found to be essentially unidimensional and showed good internal and acceptable test-retest reliability. Trait ASR was correlated with (yet distinct from) theoretically related measures of global self-esteem, moral self and principledness, and was distinct from other self-esteem facets not based on honourable character traits. Importantly, it related to well-being and prosocial behaviour over-and-above self-esteem. The validation work served to consolidate the theoretical boundaries and utility of this important concept.
Understanding self-respect and its relationship to self-esteemThe concept of self-respect has received little attention in the psychological literature and is not clearly distinguished from self-esteem. The present research sought to empirically investigate the bases of self-respect by manipulating adherence to morals together with interpersonal appraisals, or task-related competence, in hypothetical scenarios (Studies 1a and 1b) and a situation participants relived (Studies 2 and 3). Participants’ levels of state self-respect and self-esteem were measured. Studies 1-3 found main effects of adherence to morals on self-respect, with self-respect mediating the effect of adherence to morals on self-esteem, but little support for competence and interpersonal appraisals directly influencing self-respect. Self-respect uniquely contributed to anticipated/felt self-esteem alongside competence or interpersonal appraisals. The pattern of results supports the conceptualisation of self-respect as a component of self-esteem associated with morally principled conduct, distinct from performance and social self-esteem. The findings have implications for our understanding of self-esteem and moral behaviour.