Secure and defensive high self-esteem. Journal Article uri icon



  • Long-standing theories have suggested high self-esteem (SE) can assume qualitatively different forms that are related to defensiveness. The authors explored whether some high-SE individuals are particularly defensive because they harbor negative self-feelings at less conscious levels, indicated by low implicit SE. In Study 1, participants high in explicit SE but low in implicit SE showed the highest levels of narcissism--an indicator of defensiveness. In Studies 2 and 3, the correspondence between implicit and explicit SE predicted defensive behavior (in-group bias in Study 2 and dissonance reduction in Study 3), such that for high explicit-SE participants, those with relatively low implicit SE behaved more defensively. These results are consistent with the idea that high SE can be relatively secure or defensive.

publication date

  • November 1, 2003

has subject area

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • October 14, 2013 3:36 AM

Full Author List

  • Jordan CH; Spencer SJ; Zanna MP; Hoshino-Browne E; Correll J

author count

  • 5

citation count

  • 49

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3514

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1315

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 969

end page

  • 978


  • 85


  • 5