Body Image, Self Esteem and Personality Factors in Males and Females

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Personality is a reflection of what you do and say. Basically, your personality characterizes who you are. The way we behave mirrors our personality and reflects how different we are from others. As has been quoted by Allport (1961), “Personality is a powerful association, inside the individual, of psychophysical frameworks that make the individual’s trademark examples of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.”(Alpattani, 2015)

Measurement of Personality

Personality can be measured through many tests. Two major tools to measure personality are objective tests and projective measures.

For example, Big Five Inventory, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), Rorschach Inkblot test, or the Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). All of these tests are helpful because they are reliable and valid, which makes a test accurate. (Aleksandrowicz, 2009)

Personality Factors

The Big Five personality traits, also known as the OCEAN model is a scheme of classification for personality traits given by McCrae and Costa (1987). (Coetzer & Rothmann, 2003) It provides a brief measure of five domains of personality which are- Openness to experience (curious vs.

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cautious), Conscientiousness (organized vs. careless), Extraversion (outgoing vs. reserved), Agreeableness (friendly vs. detached) and Neuroticism (nervous vs. confident). (Deary, Matthews & Whiteman, 2003)

Neuroticism (N) refers to the extent to which an individual reacts to stress; Extraversion (E) refers to the extent to which an individual can endure sensory stimulation from people and circumstances; Openness (O) refers to the degree to which we accept open new experiences; Agreeableness (A) refers to the degree which we identify with others with resistance and acceptance; and Conscientiousness (C) refers to the degree to which one tries to achieve their goals in an innovative, disciplined, and reliable fashion.

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(Caspi, Roberts & Shiner, 2005)

There are various factors that develop one’s personality. These are:

  1. Heredity
  2. Psychological factors
  3. Environment

Additionally, social factors too have some influence on the development of the personality which are:

  1. Language
  2. Social Role
  3. Self-concept, self-esteem, self-regulation, self-efficacy, etc. (Alpattani, 2015).


Self-esteem has often been termed as a personality trait which means it is stable and enduring. Self-Esteem is a person’s emotional assessment of their self-worth. It incorporates beliefs about self and emotional states like triumph, gloom, pride, and disgrace (Hewitt, 2009). As stated by one of the pioneers of this domain, Rosenberg, self-esteem is an individual’s overall positive evaluation of self. According to him, high self-esteem consists of a person respecting himself or herself and having high self-worth (Rosenberg, 1965).

Positive Effects of High Self-esteem

Self-esteem is a personality trait that shows the relation with the self-image and self-conscience ideas. Self-approval is a fundamental human desire. High self-esteem score is an important factor in order to achieve happiness. Studies have found self-esteem as an important factor in emotional well-being (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger and Vohs, 2003). A few studies have found that high self-esteem people are more relentless despite failure than low self-esteem people. High self- esteem individuals are also more effective in self-regulating goal-directed conduct (Di Paula and Campbell, 2002).

Negative Effects of Low Self-esteem

Individuals with low self-esteem usually go through feelings of worthlessness, inferiority, and instable emotions leading to low satisfaction or disappointment with life (Ha, 2006). Besides, there is a tendency of respondents with low scores on self-esteem to have a negative perception towards others and personal situations (Mackinnon, 2015).

3 Theories of Functions of Self-Esteem

Self-Determination Theory

Self-Determination Theory (SDT) states that a person is born with an intrinsic motivation to explore, absorb and master his/her whereabouts and that high self-esteem is obtained when the basic psychological needs of life are balanced.

At the point when social conditions provide support and the chance to satisfy these fundamental needs, self-growth, vitality, and well-being are improved. Relatedness was an addition to the original theory to represent people’s intrinsic ability to make meaning and associate with others through the internalization of social practices and values (Deci & Ryan, 2004).

Terror Management Theory

The internalization of cultural values is a key factor in Terror Management Theory (TMT) in which self-esteem is viewed as a culturally-based construction derived from integrating specific contingencies valued by society into one’s own ‘worldview’.

TMT paints a somewhat morbid picture where high self-esteem promotes positive affect and personal growth, psychological well-being and coping against anxiety in the knowledge of our certain death and reduces defensive anxiety-related behavior. (Arndt et al., 2004).

Sociometer Theory

Sociometer Theory (ST) states that a basic level of social consideration or belonging is necessary for humans to reproduce and survive with self-esteem functioning as a sociometer. The ability to proficiently determine others’ responses affecting an individual’s status helps the creation and maintenance of a few meaningful connections.

To not be a part of a worthwhile relationship affects self-esteem more negatively than the positive impact of being a part of less meaningful connections and inclusion is always preferred to be viewed as positive (Downs et al., 1995).

Body Image

Body Image is also known as self-perception. It is an individual’s view of their own body. It includes how an individual perceives themselves, contrasted with the norms that have been set by society. The society has consistently set an extraordinary value on the beauty of the human body; however, an individual’s view of their body may not match to the society’s standards.

The issues with body image can be analyzed through body negativity and body positivity. Negative body image comprises a disoriented perspective of one’s shape; whereby one may often feel self-conscious or embarrassed and may think of others as more attractive than self. Apart from having low self-esteem, these types of people often fixate on bringing changes in their physical appearances. (Schilder, 1935)

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Body Image, Self Esteem and Personality Factors in Males and Females. (2020, Sep 08). Retrieved from

Body Image, Self Esteem and Personality Factors in Males and Females
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