The main difference between self concept and self esteem is that the self concept does not evaluate who you are while self esteem does. Self-concept is more of a cognitive aspect about self while self-esteem is more of an evaluation of one’s self.
Self concept and self esteem are two related aspects in psychology that deal with the overall understanding or perception of one’s own self. Even though they are related and share common grounds, these two are two distinctive ideologies. Thus, apart from the above mentioned main difference between self concept and self esteem, there are other differences between them as well.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Self Concept
– Definition, Nature
2. What is Self Esteem
– Definition, Nature, Low and High Self Esteem
3. What is the Relationship Between Self Concept and Self Esteem
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Self Concept and Self Esteem
– Comparison of Key Differences
Evaluation, Ideologies, Self-Concept, Self-Esteem, Understanding, Psychology
What is Self Concept
Self concept or self-concept is the overall idea or the knowledge a person has about him/her own self. Hence, self concept answers the question ‘Who am I?’. Thus, this is a reflection on one’s own self. In brief, self- concept is one’s self-identity.
Self concept, therefore, includes knowledge about one’s gender, name, personality, physical appearance, race, beliefs, nationality, schooling, family, career, accomplishments, preferences, strengths, flaws, likes and dislikes, temperaments, principles, behavioural patterns, etc. In brief, self concept refers to the detailed idea about who one is. Moreover, some people have strong self concepts while some don’t. Hence self concept is built upon the pillars of one’s social interactions.
According to psychology, self-concept is composed of two key parts: personal identity and social identity. Hence, one’s experiences and external commentaries or feedback about them from social interactions influence directly on building one’s self concept. For example, if someone’s friends start commenting that person is talented in a certain task and also very assertive, he/she will start believing that they are indeed talented in that certain task in addition to being assertive as well. This happens even without that person’s own understanding, regardless of whether it is true or not. Furthermore, self-concept includes what we were, what we are and what we will be in the future.
What is Self Esteem
Self esteem or as self-esteem is the self-evaluation of a person about him/her own self. It describes the extent of how much one values their own self. In other words, it is the attitude one holds on one’s own self. Hence, this is how one rates themselves, and it is also known as ‘self-evaluation.
Therefore, self-esteem always involves a certain degree of evaluation; accordingly, one may have either a positive or a negative view of ourselves. This results in having high self-esteem from a positive evaluation and having low self esteem from a negative evaluation. Therefore, there is a high sense of comparison in self-esteem.
In addition, there are two facets related to self esteem as high self-esteem and low self-esteem. Someone with high self-esteem seems themselves as having high self-worth whereas someone with low self-esteem doesn’t see themselves having high self-worth or sees them with low self-worth. As a result, someone with high self-esteem has good self-confidence, unlike someone with low self-esteem.
To list out some character traits or behavioural traits of those with high and low self esteem is;
People with high self-esteem are always,
- Confident in their own abilities
- Possess good Self-acceptance
- Do not worry about what others think
People with low self-esteem are always,
- Lacks confidence about their abilities
- Want to be/look like someone else
- Always worry about what others might think of them
Relationship Between Self Concept and Self Esteem
- Self-concept encompasses one’s self-esteem.
- Also, both personal observation and social interactions affect the construction of one’s self concept and self esteem.
Difference Between Self Concept and Self Esteem
Self concept is the idea of the self-constructed from the beliefs one holds about oneself and the responses of others. On the other hand, self esteem is one’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own self-worth.
Self-concept is more of a cognitive aspect about self while self-esteem is more of an evaluation of one’s self. Thus, this is the basic difference between self concept and self esteem.
Moreover, principles are related to self concept while self esteem is evaluated on these principles one has about himself.
Since self concept is primarily the cognitive knowledge about own self, there is no comparison whereas comparison is a major part in self esteem, which influences evaluating one’s own self in comparison to others. This is a major difference between self concept and self esteem.
Another difference between self concept and self esteem is the self worth. Self concept highlights information about one’s own self; thus, it does not consider valuing who they are. Conversely, self esteem basically is about finding worth or value in one’s own self.
In summary, self concept and self esteem are two related concepts in psychology. Both these deal with the identification or perception about one’s own self. Therefore, both these are influenced greatly by one’s personal experiences as well as social interactions. However, these two become distinct based on the act of evaluation. Therefore, the basic difference between self concept and self esteem is that self concept does not evaluate who you are while self esteem does.
1. Shrestha, Sujan. “Self-Concept and Self-Esteem — Are They Same??” Everything and Anything Related to Mind and Psych, 28 Sept. 2014, Available here.
2. McLeod, Saul. “Saul McLeod.” Simply Psychology, Simply Psychology, 1 Jan. 1970, Available here.
3. Cherry, Kendra, and Steven Gans. “What Is Self-Concept and How Does It Form?” Verywell Mind, Available here.