Why is support for Jamesian actual-ideal discrepancy model so elusive? A latent-variable approach
Scalas, L. F, Marsh, H. W, Morin, A. J & Nagengast, B. (2014). Why is support for Jamesian actual-ideal discrepancy model so elusive? A latent-variable approach. Personality and Individual Differences,69 62-68. United Kingdom: Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.05.010
We investigate the Actual–Ideal Discrepancy (AID) model of self-esteem determination dating back to James (1890/1963). Although intuitively appealing, this model received weak support from rigorous empirical research. We propose a multiple-item latent difference approach to AID as applied to a range of self-concept domains and sub-domains in young adolescents from two different countries (UK: N = 402; Italy: N = 250). The effects of the AID remained elusive for most domains and sub-domains; indeed, the effects of the specific AIDs were generally trivial and only appearance-AID became significant in the combined sample. Also AIDs did not substantially explain the more general self-concepts beyond what was explained by the actual domains. Even if they had been significant, AID effects would have been, at best, trivially small and detectable only using appropriate latent-variable methodologies coupled with large sample sizes; thus undermining the psychological meaning of the AID model.
Institute for Positive Psychology and Education