Friday, June 10, 2011

Mormons, self-esteem, and conscientiousness

I looked into Dr. Charlton's suggestion in the comments of the last post that self-esteem might boost self-assessment of conscientiousness. Using MIDUS data, I estimated an OLS model with conscientiousness as the dependent variable and self-esteem as a predictor. I also added a Mormon-versus-others dummy variable as a predictor in order to see if greater conscientiousness might emerge for Mormons once the influence of self-esteem is controlled. 

OLS Standardized Regression Coefficients

Mormon -.03
Self-Esteem .37*

*statistically significant

Self-esteem is strongly related to higher conscientiousness scores. Personality researchers may do well to examine if self-assessments are distorted by the level of self-esteem. On the other hand, the result for Mormons remains unchanged: they do not differ from others in conscientiousness even when the influence of self-esteem is controlled.   

5 comments:

bgc said...

Thanks very much for doing this: it is very interesting, and it looks as if there may be some milage in trying to conceptualize a control variable related to self-esteem, but probably not exactly captured by self-esteem; which could lead to falsely inflated self-evaluations of C.

In the mean time, it is probably easier to rely on other people estimating C - that is, in effect, what happens when an employer takes-on a worker on probation for three months.

hbd chick said...

ot - regarding your quote from darwin there...

"[The] instincts of the lower animals are never so perverted as to lead them regularly to destroy their own offspring." ~ Charles Darwin

...not true. at least, not true when it comes to moustached tamarins.

Ron Guhname said...

By the way, MIDUS data indicates that Mormons do not have lower self-esteem than others.

bgc said...

Thanks again. Looks as if I was mostly wrong!

It is remarkable that adherents to this most demanding of mainstream Western religions are not much different from the rest of religious believers.

I would have expected that genetic founder effects would means that cradle Mormons in the US were different, and that selectivity in conversion would predict that converts were different.

Indeed, the effect of the negative finding is in fact to challenge - even more than already - my confidence in self-rated personality evaluations.

While Eysenck (who pioneered them) was able to show that SRPEs were much better than would have been expected, they are clearly open to all sorts of problems.

One major problems is that people call them personality 'tests' when they aren't testing anything - IQ tests really are tests, but personality 'tests' are self-evaluations: and they simultaneously measure both the evaluator and that which is being evaluated, yet without controlling for the evaluator. Rather like asking people to set and mark their own exams.

It's amazing they are any use at all!

Nathan said...

Well, I don't actually consider this is likely to have success.
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