Self Esteem, Information Search and Problem Solving Efficiency.
PURDUE UNIV LAFAYETTE IND DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES
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Weiss 1977, 1978 has shown that low self esteem workers are more likely to model the role behaviors and work values of superiors than are high self esteem workers. He has argued that new employees are problem solvers attempting to determine the most appropriate role behaviors for their new work situation. He has also argued that high self esteem individuals search for less information on problem solving tasks and are therefore less likely to seek and use models to help them define their roles. This study examined whether self esteem is, in fact, negatively related to information search. It also examined whether the greater information search among low esteem individuals would result in more effective performance on a problem soving task where search is functional. Results showed that, as expected, low self esteem subjects searched for more information, search was functional and low self esteem subjects were significantly better performers on the task. The results are contrasted with previous studies of self esteem and performance and discussed in terms in person x situation interactions and the functional and dysfunctional aspects of high self esteem in relation to various types of organizational problems. Author