Self Concept vs Self Esteem
All of us have a perception of self just like we have perceptions of other people around us. This perception of self is based upon all positive and negative experiences we have had in our lives and also upon what we make of ourselves in the environment that we live in. The overall assessment of ourselves or the picture that we paint of ourselves is not always correct and is often distorted and far from reality. Self-concept and self-esteem are closely related concepts in psychology that deal with this perception of self. Because of their similarities, many people tend to treat them as synonyms. However, there are differences between these two concepts that will be highlighted in this article.
What is Self-Concept?
Knowledge about oneself is called self-concept. It is similar to knowledge we have about others as to what they feel and how they react to things and issues. We know what our friend likes to eat, the games he enjoys playing, and the kind of movies he loves to watch. The same facts about self-lead to knowledge about us. If we are constantly ridiculed in our childhood by our older siblings as being stupid or fool, we may actually start to believe in these labels as there is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Self-concept is made of self-esteem and self-efficacy. Self-esteem is one’s positive or negative evaluation based upon success or failure in life and also feedback from others. On the other hand, self-efficacy stems from belief in one’s ability to accomplish a task.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is the evaluation of self on a scale that can range from negative to positive. It is usually a perception that is based upon feedbacks one receives from other important people in his life, as well as his own thoughts about himself. People with a high self-esteem are those who have a high self-worth. On the other hand, people with a low self-esteem have a low self-worth. If you are confident about yourself, it reflects in your attitude and others gain a perception that you have a high self-esteem. In other words, self-esteem can be equated with regard or respect one has for him. For example, a person may have a low self-esteem about his physical attractiveness if he does not perceive himself as beautiful or attractive. However, the same person may have a high self-esteem for himself if he is given a task to perform because of his belief in his own ability. Low self-esteem is often characterized by feelings of inferiority, anxiety, and unhappiness. A person with low self-esteem is often impatient and gets irritated with things and others. Negativity is another important characteristic of people with low self-esteem.
What is the difference between Self Concept and Self Esteem?
• Self-concept is informative in nature and does not lead to evaluation as is the case with self-esteem.
• There are positive or negative feelings in the case of self-esteem whereas self-concept is knowledge about self.
• Self-concept is more of cognitive aspect about self while self-esteem is more of an evaluation of self and is emotional in nature.