Seeking self-evaluative feedback: the interactive role of global self-esteem and specific self-views.
People who verify a negative self-view expose themselves to criticism and rejection. Because people with low global self-esteem are hurt more by negative feedback than are people with high global self-esteem, the authors predicted that they would be less apt to verify a negative self-view in a more specific domain. Three investigations found support for this hypothesis. In all 3 investigations, high self-esteem participants sought (or tended to seek) self-verifying feedback, even if it was negative, but low self-esteem participants sought (or tended to seek) positive feedback, even if it was nonself-verifying. These findings show that low self-esteem people are especially concerned with self-protection and that global self-esteem and specific self-views interact to guide people's responses to self-evaluative feedback.