How important is self-esteem really?

10 06 2013

I chanced upon the following statement when reading a paper for my psychiatry research.

Empowerment, self-efficacy, hope, and self-responsibility
have become touchstones for the recovery movement
with the assumption that they will bring many
positive outcomes and benefits on their own. However,
many decades of psychological research have shown
that efforts directed at boosting self-esteem and its congeners
do not yield anticipated benefits to individuals;
rather, self-esteem, empowerment, and hope are consequences
of adaptive, productive behavior, and self improvement
which leads to social competence and its
associated rewards.

Which appears to say that self-esteem, on its own doesn’t seem to count for much, and it’s backed by evidence beyond anecdotes or personal experience.

Baumeister RF, Campbell JD, Krueger JI, Vohs KD. Does
high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success,
happiness or healthier lifestyles? Psychol Sci Public
Interest. 2003;4:1–27.

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Cannibal virus update

5 06 2012

Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

I didn’t realise how big that story would end up. People from the US are going crazy about it. I think part of it is fueled by excited Left 4 Dead fans and part by paranoid folks. I think it might have gotten worse since the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) denied the virus story when asked by Huffington Post. This was compounded by the fact that last year, the CDC actually used the Zombie Meme to promote emergency preparedness, gosh, Americans. That’s the equivalent of our media warning us about a post-PAP government (no, it’s not actually, that’s very scary indeed)

Buzzfeed has made a little google map tracking these incidents. Which is rubbish. It’s a combination of people being violent and biting each other and chemical spills which together make it look like the country is erupting in apocalyptic violence.

I doubt that violence in America is a new phenomenon. I went to actually try and dig out statistics to find out if this kind of crime is increasing and although the FBI does collect and publish this, the closest I could get was to sort it according to weapon. There’s a section that refers to crime where personal effects such has hands, feet etc were used so I get the impression that Miami boy’s crime will count under that. That being said, violent crime seems to be on a decline (bottom of the page), which is, well, less scary.

I did dig out two important worrying trends. First, there’s this Bath Salts epidemic that’s making it way through America. Drugs screw with your body, don’t take them. Second, that Florida has very little investment in its infrastructure to take care of the mentally ill. That means people not fully reaching their potential, perhaps more crime, and the social acceptance of people with mental illness declining even further. Damn. I need a break