THE RELATION OF SELF-ESTEEM TO INDICES OF PERCEIVED BEHAVIORAL HOSTILITY.
Technical rept. no. 20,
VANDERBILT UNIV NASHVILLE TENN
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The Sullivanian hypothesis of a negative relationship between self-esteem and hostility was tested by intercorrelating two measures of self-esteem with two measures of hostility, one a behavior rating index, the other a picture description technique. With 100 subjects, scores were obtained for six subvarieties, two dimensions and one global aspect of hostility. The negative self-esteem--hostility relationship was found to be contingent upon the self-esteem measure, hostility instrument and dimension of hostility. The Sullivanian hypothesis applied to hostile actions and emotions in interpersonal behavior and to perceived hostile actions in the test situation as these were associated with lower degrees of self-esteem. Hostile emotions in the test situation, however, were associated with higher self-esteem. Thus self-esteem was related to a rejection of socially unacceptable and injurious expressions of hostility but also to an increased availability of hostile emotions. Author