Racial differences in self-esteem revisited: The role of impression management in the Black self-esteem advantage

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Abstract

Black individuals consistently report the highest levels of self-esteem of any racial group in the United States. The present study utilized the bogus pipeline procedure (i.e., the use of physiological equipment that ostensibly allows the researcher to detect if individuals are lying) to examine whether impression management plays a role in the relatively high levels of self-esteem that are reported by Black individuals. Participants were 95 undergraduates who volunteered to complete a measure of self-esteem before later responding to the same measure of self-esteem under either bogus pipeline or control conditions in the laboratory. Black participants with high levels of self-esteem were found to report more modest feelings of self-worth in the bogus pipeline condition than in the control condition. The results of the study suggest that impression management may be an important consideration when examining the feelings of self-worth reported by members of stigmatized groups. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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Zeigler-Hill, V., Wallace, M. T., & Myers, E. M. (2012). Racial differences in self-esteem revisited: The role of impression management in the Black self-esteem advantage. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(6), 785–789. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.06.007

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