Self-esteem, mood, and self-evaluation: changes in mood and the way you see you

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993 Mar;64(3):421-30. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.64.3.421.


Three studies found that self-esteem moderates the relation between mood and self-evaluation. In Study 1, a standard mood-induction procedure was used to induce positive, negative, or neutral moods in low self-esteem (LSE) Ss and high self-esteem Ss. Afterward, Ss evaluated their specific qualities and characteristics (e.g., How smart are you? How kind are you?). Both self-esteem groups evaluated themselves favorably in a positive mood, but LSE Ss were more apt to lower their self-evaluations in a negative mood. Study 2 found a similar, though weaker pattern using a noncognitive, musical mood induction; Study 3 found that these effects occur with variations in naturally occurring mood over a 6-week period. The authors suggest that the tendency for LSE people to respond to negative moods with self-depreciation contributes to psychological distress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Affect*
  • Cognition
  • Humans
  • Self Concept*
  • Self-Assessment*