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Self-concept is one of the oldest and most important constructs in the social sciences. It is also at the heart of the positive psychology revolution focusing on how healthy, normal, and exceptional individuals can get the most from life. We begin by distinguishing between an historical unidimensional perspective that focuses on self-esteem and a more recent multidimensional, hierarchical perspective that distinguishes between specific facets of self (e.g., academic, social, physical, and emotional). In this article we review developmental, educational, and personality perspectives of self-concept, gender differences, theoretical models, and empirical research on the reciprocal effects relating self-concept and performance, frame of reference effects based on social and dimensional comparisons that influence the formation of self-concept, and the juxtaposition between multidimensional perspectives of personality and self-concept.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Book Chapter

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ERA Access

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