Abstract construal levels attenuate state self-esteem reactivity Academic Article uri icon


  • The reactivity of state self-esteem has been linked to a number of important psychological outcomes, ranging from general well-being to psychological dysfunction. The present research aimed to identify a cognitive factor underlying state self-esteem reactivity by exploring how construal levels influence the extent to which state self-esteem reacts to positive and negative experiences. It was hypothesized that abstract construals would mitigate the effects of evaluative information on state self-esteem. The results of two studies supported this hypothesis. Participants in an abstract mindset did not differ in state self-esteem after receiving positive, negative, or no evaluative information. Participants in a concrete mindset, in contrast, experienced lower levels of state self-esteem following negative evaluative information. The significance of these findings for understanding the link between abstraction and psychological vulnerability is discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

author list (cited authors)

  • Vess, M., Arndt, J., & Schlegel, R. J.

citation count

  • 17

publication date

  • July 2011