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CURIOISTY MAY NOT HAVE KILLED THE CAT AFTER ALL: THE POTENTIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CURIOISTY, SELF ESTEEM, AND SELF COMPASSION BY ELIZABETH BREWER A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida In partial fulfil lment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Steven Graham Sarasota, Florida May, 2012
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion ii This thesis is lovingly dedicated to Boozoo Brewer, whose continued curiosity has served as an inspiration.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion iii Acknowledgements I would like to thank Professor Graham, Professor Barton, Professor Harley, all of the lovely people who volunteered for my study, as well as Professor Cooper. Without them this thesis would not be possible. I would a lso like to thank Patty and Chuck Brewer, Josie Griffin, and all of my wonderful roommates and friends.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Number Dedication ii Acknowledgements iii Table of Contents iv Abstract v Introduction 1 Curiosity 2 Self esteem 16 Self compassion 29 Current Study 37 Method 40 Results 46 Discussion 48 References 54 Table 1 59 Figure 1 60 Figure 2 61 Figure 3 62 Figure 4 63 Appendix A 64
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion v Curiosity may not have Killed the Cat After All: The Potential Relationship Between Self esteem, Self compassion, and Curiosity By Elizabeth Brewer New Colleg e of Florida, 2012 ABSTRACT This thesis attempts to demonstrate that an increase in state self esteem or state self compassion will result in an increase in state curiosity. Forty nine participants were split into three groups, one in which only self est eem was raised, one in which only self compassion was raised, and a control group. After the manipulations, all participants completed the State Trait Personality Inventory, the Heatherton & Polivy State Self esteem Scale, the Self compassion Scale, and t he Positive and Negative Affect Scale. After this, participants were presented with an optional reading task that functioned as a measure of behavioral curiosity. The mean scores for self esteem, self compassion, and curiosity between conditions were com pared. There was no significant difference between conditions for mean self esteem, self compassion, or curiosity, indicating that the manipulations did not function, and curiosity was not induced. Future research is needed in order to determine how curi osity relates to self esteem and self compassion, as well as how curiosity functions in human behavior. ______________________ _____ Professor Steven Graham Division of Social Sciences
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 1 Curiosity may not have Killed the Cat After All: The Potential Relationship Between Self esteem, Self compassion, and Curiosity Think about what happens when you encounter a novel situation, be it a new store opening in your area, an interesting article o n the cover of a magazine, a fascinating topic in a field of academic research, or meeting a new employee at your place of work. How do you react? Do you show interest? Do you act upon this interest, or do you choose to ignore it? Do you show curiosit y, and, if so, why? Research on curiosity is performed in order to better understand how it functions, with the hope of one day answering questions like these. Curiosity creates within us a desire to discover information and can lead to new and important learning experiences (Berlyne, 1954). Examples of acting on curiosity could include making new acquaintances by introducing oneself to an interesting newcomer, or discovering a vocation by taking the first steps into the field. Curiosity is believed to b e behind a student's desire to learn, and allows him or her to hold a greater interest in topics (Arone, Small, Chauncey & McKenna, 2011). Curious students may amass more academic knowledge, as well as feel more at ease in their environment, because they have explored it to a point where they understand it (Arone et al., 2011). Whereas curiosity is thought to have its benefits, there is little research regarding what causes people to act on curiosity. It is not yet known whether manipulating other traits could affect the level of displayed curiosity. Discovering the causes of curiosity (if it is caused by other personality traits) could have several benefits. By implementing techniques to raise curiosity, we could increase the overall desire for learning in students, causing better academic performance, and more knowledge to be acquired. It could also be used in a counseling setting; counselors,
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 2 who know what traits trigger curiosity, could use them to help a shy client explore his or her social environm ents and pursue life enhancing tasks. The intent of this thesis is to discover whether manipulating aspects of the self concept can alter levels of curiosity. This research is attempting to show that by raising positive self feelings of individuals, they will feel a greater desire to explore their environments. The self feelings examined here are self esteem and self compassion. If curiosity can be shown to be linked to these traits, then it may be possible to implement curiosity raising programs, using techniques that raise self esteem and self compassion. This thesis first introduces, and reviews the literature on curiosity, in order to demonstrate that it is a positive trait. Correlations between curiosity and beneficial interpersonal and intrapersona l behavior are reviewed. Then, the idea that the ability to exhibit curiosity is dependent on thinking that one can succeed will be introduced. Next, possible sources of curiosity will be hypothesized. Self esteem will be defined and literature indicatin g that higher levels of self esteem leads individuals to be more ambitious and persist at tasks will be reviewed. Evidence that self esteem protects individuals from the negative effects of criticism and failure will also be reviewed. Lastly, self compass ion is defined and its potential to induce curiosity is reviewed. Literature that suggests highly self compassionate people cope with failure in a more positive manner will also be reviewed, as well as the findings that these individuals are better able to learn from the failures. Curiosity Curiosity is not a new topic of study; past researchers have reflected on what, exactly, causes curiosity (Ofer & Durban, 1999). Curiosity, like other personality traits,
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 3 can be divided into two separate cate gories, state and trait. State curiosity is how curious an individual is feeling in the short term, at a particular moment, while trait curiosity is the level of curiosity an individual feels over a longer period of time. In the past, curiosity was usual ly thought of in sexual terms, with exploration resulting from the sex drive and desire to find a mate. Later, it was believed to play a role in how humans develop a sense of the world (Ofer & Durban, 1999). Human curiosity was defined as a drive reducible by knowledge rehearsal by Berlyne (1954). Knowledge rehearsal may take on many diverse forms; it could be exploration of the physical environment, initiating conversation with another person, researching an academic topic, or asking a mentor a question. This curiosity begins with a new experience, item, or question that leads to a specific sequence of events for the individual. Berlyne (1954) believed that the sequence of curiosity began with thought about this novel item or experience. Next, there is observation and investigation, which may or may not lead to a resolution. If it does not, curiosity leads us to seek an authority figure for a resolution. Occasionally, the search to satisfy curiosity leads to conflicting information. When thi s is the case, the searcher considers all the information gathered, and will decide for themselves which body of information is more valid. This will either lead to more search along that particular line, or it may be the resolution of the question. Berl yne's (1954) theory of curiosity highlights its definition and explains a formula of behavior for curiosity. This helps to make curiosity more predictable, and may assist in the manipulation of it. This reflection on curiosity led future researchers to t hink about the function of curiosity early in a person's life.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 4 It has been theorized that mutual curiosity between people allows the individual to form mental connections and develop a better sense of the other person (Ofer & Durban, 1999). Early in life the infant's relationship with the mother is the most prominent, and it has been proposed that exploration between the two can help the infant to learn about the importance of the mother (Ofer and Durban, 1999). If the mother shows an interest in her ch ild, and is curious about it, the infant will learn that exploration is acceptable, and will have a desire to explore her, as well. The desire to learn about the mother will mature into a desire to learn about the world, and will continue to grow with the child into adulthood. However, if the infant feels anxiety about exploring, such as, if its parent is invasive in their exploration of the infant, or if the parent punishes the infant for going too far away, it will not want to explore. As the child grow s and leaves its parent, this feeling may morph into a superficial sense of curiosity, focusing more on discovery than learning. Others may find it intrusive and inappropriate. Alternatively, if the parent does not show enough interest in the infant, the infant may not develop a strong desire to explore, and will not learn about the world around him or her. Once the child has left the influence of its parent, it could possibly begin to believe that there is no point in exploration, because there is no way to discover anything. Essentially, Ofer and Durban (1999) believe that curiosity is a sensitive part of human development, and that if a maladaptive form of curiosity develops, it will affect how an individual acts as an adult. Ofer and Durban ( 1999) theorize that curiosity is not just a tool used in searching; it also helps an individual form a sense of identity by learning what is part of
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 5 his/her self and how that is different from the rest of the world. It also better equips a person to reali ze when something is missing from their knowledge for example, when there is something that they need to know, like a gap in literature that could connect two different theories together, or what is needed to complete a project. The most recent th eories of curiosity still hold that it occurs in a series of stages (Kashdan, Rose & Fincham, 2004). Upon perceiving novel stimulus, a general sequence is set in motion. First, increased attention is paid to the stimulus. This makes an individual orient himself to the stimulus, and want to explore it. Next, the individual will begin to interact with the stimulus, either mentally (reflecting on it) or physically (manipulating it.) This leads to the next phase, which is a focused flow like engagement wit h the stimulus. This means that the individual may lose track of their environment while they are interacting with the stimulus. After this interaction is complete, the stimulus will have been explored completely, and any information gained from this act ion will have been integrated into the individual's memory (Kashdan, Rose & Fincham, 2004). Within this model there are two distinct divisions of curiosity. The first is called exploration, which occurs mainly in the first stages. It is through exploration that novel objects are recognized and sought out. Exploration allows individuals to initially show interest in novel objects, and facilitates absorption, the second division of curiosity. Absorption is the flow like state where individuals co ncentrate their focus on the novel stimulus. It is this state that makes satiating curiosity rewarding, especially when a person is absorbed with a task he has experience with (for instance a beginning chemistry student attempting an upper level chemistry experiment.) The individual's
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 6 confidence in his own skills will be reinforced as he completes the activity (Kashdan, Rose & Fincham, 2004). While this theory touches on how curiosity can reinforce behavior, there is some evidence that stimulated curiosi ty can dictate behavior in certain contexts. There is empirical evidence to suggest that curiosity can affect decision making (Van Dijk and Zeelenberg, 2007). In this experiment, 180 participants were recruited and given a hypothetical situation in which they could choose between two rewards one being 15 Euros, and the other being a sealed package. In the unconditional feedback condition, participants were told that no matter their choice they would learn what was in the package after making a de cision, while in the conditional feedback condition, it was implied that the contents of the package would not be revealed. Participants in both feedback conditions were either told that the package was round/ not round, or they received no additional inf ormation. Researchers found that when given no extra information, participants chose the package less often, while those who heard additional information, regardless of what that was, chose the package significantly more. The conclusion reached from these data was that participants who received extra information had their curiosity stimulated and chose the package over the cash reward in order to satiate their curiosity. This result demonstrates that, not only does curiosity have the potential to dictate behavior, but that curiosity can apparently be created in humans. However, there are some drawbacks to this study; first, is that the situation was very specific and may not be applicable to everyday curiosity, which can take many forms. Second, particip ants may not have been demonstrating curiosity, but may have had another motive for choosing the
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 7 package, such as little desire for the cash reward (Van Dijk & Zeelenberg, 2007). Despite these drawbacks, this study suggests that curiosity is malleable. Wh ile Van Dijk and Zeelenberg's (2007) study demonstrates that curiosity may dictate behavior to some degree, it does not indicate that curiosity has any of the benefits that curiosity theory proposes. Curiosity theorists suggest that curiosity occurs in a general sequence and that the act of exploration has benefits for the individual. Researchers have demonstrated that there is, indeed, some evidence that can connect curiosity to personality benefits. Benefits of Curiosity Many current curiosity researche rs divide curiosity into Kashdan, et al.'s (2004) divisions, absorption curiosity, which is being focused on stimulation, and exploration curiosity, which is searching for information. One impressive benefit of exploration curiosity is its potential to sh ield individuals from addiction. Researchers found that alcohol related problems are positively correlated with sensation seeking, but negatively correlated with exploration curiosity (Lindgren, Mullins, Neighbors & Blayney, 2010). Seventy nine female co llege students who were part of a larger longitudinal study about alcohol related problems and sexual assault participated in this study. All participants were sent questionnaires via email. The questionnaires were the Daily Drinking Questionnaire, Rutge r's Alcohol Problems Index, the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale, and the Curiosity and Exploration Index (CEI). All surveys were taken from previous studies. Lindgren et al. (2010) found that there was a significant positive correlation between sensation se eking and alcohol related problems. There was also a significant
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 8 negative correlation between exploration curiosity and alcohol related problems. The researchers concluded that exploration curiosity may have served as a protection from alcohol related pr oblems. This study suggests another benefit of curiosity because it could provide protection from addiction to alcohol. However, there are some limitations to this study. First, it was correlational, and causation cannot be determined. Second, this st udy was conducted with an all female sample, and the results may not apply to male populations. Despite these problems, this study opens new doors to understanding the benefits of curiosity. Although it is not fully understood, curiosity may have other b enefits, as well. Curiosity is also believed to play a role in reducing defensiveness to existential threat and anxiety (Kashdan et al., 2011). In a study examining the potential role of curiosity and mindfulness in terror management theory, 118 undergra duates were asked first to complete a survey packet containing The Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI) (measuring curiosity), The Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) (measuring their openness to new ideas), Rosenberg's Self Esteem Scale, The Big 5 Personality Inventory, political orientation, and demographic information. Then, participants in the experimental group were asked to complete a mortality salience task, in which they described what their own deaths would feel like. The co ntrol group was asked to describe dental pain. After this, there was a mood assessment for all participants. Then, participants were randomly assigned to read one of two essays one highlighting the uniqueness of humans, and one stating that man was exac tly like any other animal.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 9 In previous studies, this "creatureliness" argument was shown to induce defensive responses and was deemed an appropriate tool to evoke an existential threat. In other words, participants would feel that the essay was challengi ng their view of the world, and therefore threaten them. After reading the essay, participants were asked to rate the author's intelligence, likeability, and how much they personally agreed with the author. The researchers then rated the respondents' per sonality measures and their essay ratings. If the respondent was more critical or negative of an essay, they were considered to be more anxious and threatened. Kashdan et al. (2011) found that across conditions those who scored relatively equally (both hi gh or both low) on the CEI and the MAAS gave the most positive reviews of the essay they read. While participants who had unequal scores, such as those who were low on the CEI but high on the MAAS, were more critical of the essays they read. This result led researchers to believe that curiosity and mindfulness, in equal levels, can mediate the effects of perceived threat from new or diverse world views. This study shows that, together with mindfulness, curiosity reduces defensive reactions and makes peopl e more open to contrasting world views, which would potentially lead them to learn more about those views. It could also indicate that highly curious individuals are secure in their world view and are less fearful or threatened by diverse ideas. This red uced fear, may allow highly curious people to interact better when meeting new people, in social situations. Curiosity has been shown to co occur with positive affect (PA) in social situations (Kashdan & Roberts, 2006). Two studies were designed to examine predictors of feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, and inspiration (positive affect) and of
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 10 shame, irritability, and nervousness (negative affect). In the first experiment, there were 104 participants. The researchers chose potential p articipants based on their combined scores on the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SAIS) and the Social Phobia Scale (SPS). Both tests measured how anxious a person gets when interacting with, or being watched by, another person. The experimenters deter mined that the SAIS and SPS scores for this sample were normally distributed. Upon arriving at the lab, participants completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), which measured their level of PA and NA at that time. They complete d the Behavioral Activation Scale and the Behavioral Inhibition Scale (BAS/BIS), which measured their sensitivity to reward and aversive cues. Participants also filled out the SAIS and SPS a second time, and completed the State Trait Curiosity Inventory Trait (STCI Trait), measuring how curious they were, generally. Next, they were introduced to their same sex interaction partner, who was really an experimental confederate. The same male confederate interacted with all male participants and the same fe male confederate interacted with all female participants. Participants were asked five questions by the confederate, and then, they asked the confederate five questions. The experimenters provided all questions; they began with small talk and became more personal with each question. After this, participants were isolated and re completed the same measures from the pre interaction phase. Researchers found that curiosity had a positive correlation with pre and post interaction PA; indicating that curiosity was a predictor of PA both during, as well as after, self disclosing social interaction. The second study included 90 participants who were split into opposite sex pairs. For this study, there was no confederate, and each participant asked thei r partner
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 11 five provided questions. The pre interaction procedure was similar to the first study, except that the CEI was used to measure curiosity. There were two groups of interaction, a small talk group, where the questions were superficial ("Describe the last time you went to the zoo"), and an intimate group, where the questions were more personal ("For what in your life are you most grateful?" "Describe an embarrassing moment"). After interaction, participants completed the same measures as before th e interaction. As in the first study, researchers found that curiosity was positively correlated with pre and post interaction PA. Also, in study two, they found that curiosity had a negative correlation with social anxiety (SA). This suggests that the participants who were highly curious experienced more PA and less SA. These results tentatively suggest that curiosity may boost feelings of excitement and reduce anxiety, when interacting with new people, giving the curious person the drive to m eet and talk to more people. Further research that supports the notion that curiosity can reduce social stress comes from a study in which researchers found a positive relationship between curiosity and ratings of friendly attraction and closeness of parti cipants to confederates (Kashdan & Roberts, 2004). All participants first completed a Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, and a Social Phobia Scale. From this, the top 10% were placed in the high social anxiety group and the bottom 50% were placed in the l ow social anxiety group. Each participant then met with a same sex confederate for an interview, in which they asked, and then were asked, four philosophical and personal questions. After this, each participant completed the State and Trait Curiosity Inv entory, and the Trait and State
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 12 Positive and Negative Affect Scales; they also rated their attraction (level of friendliness) to the confederate, and how closely they connected to them. Researchers found that the strongest predictor of high attraction and close connection ratings was a high score on the curiosity measure. This study suggests that curiosity is related to initiating friendships, which coupled with the curious person's heightened ability to navigate new social relationships, could result in a more lasting and gratifying social relationship, thus leading to a more positive self concept. There is evidence that supports the idea that curiosity not only reduces social stress, but can assist in other aspects of social interaction. This e vidence comes from a study examining social curiosity and the accuracy of social judgment (Hartung & Renner, 2011). One hundred and eighty two German citizens, aged 18 to 85 years old, were recruited for the study. Each was assigned to be in either a sam e or mixed sex interaction dyad. There were 39 mixed pairs, 48 female only pairs, and 4 male only pairs. Prior to dyad interaction, each participant completed a German version of the Big 5 Personality Inventory, and The Social Curiosity Scale (SCS), mea suring their desire to explore new social situations. Their answers here would later be compared to their partner's opinions of them. Then, the researchers took participants to a different room where they met their dyad partner, and were told they had th e next 10 minutes to get to know each other. The researchers then separated the pairs and had each participant fill out the Big 5 Personality Inventory, and The Social Curiosity Scale, this time, in regards to their partner. They also completed a questionnaire regarding 63 physical traits their partner may have demonstrated (high/low pitched voice, light/dark hair, etc.) and The
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 13 Emotional Expressivity Scale. The judgments were then compared to the responses given by the partner and examined for similarity. The responses to the SCS were also analyzed and participants were organized into two groups on the basis of a median split those who were highly socially curious and those that were not socially curious. The researchers found that hi ghly socially curious participants were more accurate than those participants who were not socially curious when judging their partner's extraversion and openness. There was no difference in the remaining three traits between low and high curiosity group s. These results lead the researchers to suspect that social curiosity allowed for greater accuracy of social judgment of their partner's extraversion and openness. This research lends support to the idea that curiosity assists in regulating social behav ior, since accurate judgments of another's personality allow a person to know how to act around him or her. The authors believed high social curiosity allows people to better navigate and maintain social relationships with others. Why Study Curiosity? Kas hdan et al.'s (2004) theory states that curiosity enables people to explore, allows them to learn about the world, and can be pleasurable. It is suggested that being curious is related to benefits. Research has shown that curiosity does correlate with po sitive traits, suggesting that these claims may be correct. One question this raises is, why is curiosity related to so many positive things? A recent research agenda suggests that curiosity is linked to a sense of competence (Arnone et al., 2011). Auth ors defined curiosity as the desire to search for and learn new facts and information, and stated that this desire stems from a need for
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 14 mastery of the information. They also suggested that maintained interest and engagement that keep curious individuals searching for more information is dependent on a pre existing sense of competency and confidence that they will be successful in their search. This idea seems in line with the notion that curiosity is connected to a positive self concept, since the act of curiosity is fueled by feeling competent, and the result of searching will lead to strengthening of that feeling. This system is an ideal version of curiosity, however, and it may not reflect everyone's experience. Further study has been done on attitud es toward curiosity that may provide more evidence as to how it functions for an individual. Research on different attitudes towards curiosity and exploration may be able reveal how a person uses exploration in their daily life (resulting in harmful or hel pful behaviors). There is evidence that attitudes toward curiosity and exploration are correlated with attachment style. It was found that exploratory and novelty seeking behavior in adults would be performed for different reasons, with securely attached people exploring for the sake of the experience and learning (Carnelly & Ruscher, 2000). Based on previous research, the authors hypothesized that those with avoidant attachment styles will use exploring as a tool to gain social acceptance. Tho se with anxious avoidant attachment styles will use exploring as a tool to create intimacy, while securely attached people will explore for the sake of exploring. Participants were 148 undergraduate students. All participants completed surveys wh ich included a survey developed for this study that measured their attachment style in romantic relationships, the Sensation Seeking Scale IV, which
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 15 measured their adventure seeking and disinhibition behavior, and another survey developed for this study th at measured participants' reasons for leisure exploration whether it was to avoid others, gain acceptance, create intimacy, or simply to learn. The researchers found that there was no significant correlation between attachment styles and amount of desire to explore; however, there were significant positive correlations between those classified with an avoidant attachment style and exploring for the sake of social acceptance, and those classified with an anxious ambivalent style and exploring to cre ate intimacy. There was also a significant positive correlation between having a secure attachment style and exploring simply for exploration. While the researchers could not infer causality, they concluded that those with secure attachment styles will e xplore without a context of social interaction. The supposed connection between curiosity and attachment style brings us back to Ofer and Durban's (1999) theory, and how curiosity, developed in infancy, will affect how an individual acts as an adult. Ofer and Durban (1999) also propose that curiosity could potentially play an important role in therapy. Ofer and Durban (1999) list several case studies of counseling patients who have developed a maladaptive sense of curiosity, and describe how their desire for exploration has been altered in the course of their treatment. Summary. Curiosity has been shown to correlate with several positive traits, such as reduced risk of alcohol addiction (Lindgren et al., 2010), increased protection from anxiety (Kashdan e t al, 2011), and increased positive affect, and accuracy of social judgment in social situations (Kashdan & Roberts, 2006; Hartung & Renner, 2011). Further study of curiosity may provide a better idea in regards to stimulating it. If
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 16 researchers are able to stimulate curiosity, it may lead to an increase in these other positive traits. In this way, curiosity could be used as a tool for improving people's lives. Self esteem Self esteem is a widely studied topic. It is an often used psychologic al measure of self concept -those with high self esteem have more positive self thoughts than those with low self esteem. The most basic definition of self esteem is the value people place on themselves (Baumeister et al., 2008). In order to better unde rstand the basics of self esteem, it may help to know about how it is conceptualized. It should first be noted what exactly low self esteem is, and how it differs from high self esteem. It has been found that those who fell into the low self esteem catego ry were characterized by neutral or ambivalent self feeling (Kernis, 2003). This was in contrast to the previously held belief, that low self esteem was characterized by negative self feeling. People who experience low self esteem are more likely to expe rience minor fluctuations in their feelings of self worth over a period of time; these can range from neutral/negative to positive. Those who experience "true low self esteem," or those who feel exclusively negative self feelings over a large span of time are rarely found in random samples. With this is mind, how can high self esteem be defined? It is generally conceived as an individual having positive self feeling (Kernis, 2003). High self esteem is considered to be a benefit; however, researchers ca nnot seem to agree on the exact benefits or detriments of high self esteem. In a meta analysis, Baumeister et al. (2008) reviewed the literature on self
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 17 esteem and reviewed some of its benefits as well as some of its drawbacks. It is commonly thought that high self esteem leads to better school performance. The reasoning behind this is that those with high self esteem may set higher goals, persist in the face of failure, and have confidence to take on challenging academic tasks. Many positive correlations have been found between self esteem and long term academic achievement, however there is some dispute over causality. Some studies suggest that high self esteem develops from family background and intelligence. Others suggest that, rather than high self esteem leading to achievement, it is achievement that leads to high self esteem. Another area of self esteem that has been studied is its relation to job/task performance. Studies have shown that, in general, high self esteem does not assist in performa nce quality, but there is some evidence that it affects persistence tasks. It has been shown that people with high self esteem were more reactive to experimenter cues when performing a task, and are more likely to give up when told a task may be impossibl e, compared to those with low self esteem (Janoff Bulman & Brickman, and McFarlin, as cited in Baumeister et al., 2008). However, all researchers do not agree on this finding. Others have found that when given explicit directions to quit, those with high self esteem are more likely to persist at the assigned task than participants with low self esteem (Sandelands, Brockner, & Glynn, as cited in Baumeister et al., 2008). These contrary results suggest that those with high self esteem are more reactive to situational cues, and those with low self esteem are more reactive to directional cues (Baumeister et al., 2008). Self esteem has also been related to interpersonal relationships. Whereas it has
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 18 not been proven that it leads to happier friendships and rom antic relationships, it has been shown that high self esteem allows for a more realistic view of social interaction. One study found that after 10 minute "getting to know you sessions, participants with low self esteem significantly underestimated how m uch their interaction partners liked them, while those with high self esteem had much more realistic estimates (Brockner & Lloyd, as cited in Baumeister et al., 2008). It should be noted that in this study people with high self esteem and low self esteem were liked equally, while in another study people with high self esteem were found to be less likable. After 20 minute interaction sessions, high self esteem participants who had experienced ego threat (in this case negative feedback) were rated as less l ikeable by their interaction partners than low self esteem participants, who had experienced the same ego threat (Heatherton & Vohs, as cited in Baumeister et al., 2008). Kernis (2003) made note of the conflicting evidence in self esteem research, and prop osed that the seemingly disparate findings are due to the existence of different types of high self esteem. One, which could be referred to as fragile' high self esteem, can be characterized by an inflated sense of self importance that is extremely vulne rable to threat. People with fragile high self esteem will take pride in success, but deny involvement in failure. This fragile high self esteem can be related to contingent high self esteem, which is self esteem based on current achievement, and living up to the expectations of others. Both are vulnerable to threat and prone to great fluctuations depending on the level of pride or shame an individual is feeling. Fragile high self esteem may be correlated with maladaptive behaviors that can actually imp ede the success of an individual. These behaviors include creating unnecessary obstacles that
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 19 will make their success more impressive, over estimating personal competency when taking risks, and acting aggressively, in order to preserve a sense of self wor th. Fragile high self esteem can be contrasted with secure' high self esteem, which is characterized by a sense of self worth that is not vulnerable to threat. It is connected to true high self esteem, which does not fluctuate based on the external achie vements of the individual, but rather, depends on the internal feelings of the individual. Those with secure or true high self esteem value themselves, and are able to admit their flaws; they gauge their success based on their own experiences, rather than comparing themselves to others, and they do not feel the need to put themselves over others. Those with secure or true high self esteem do not react to failure negatively or aggressively; they will feel saddened, but are able to use the failure to guide their future actions, and not let a failure in a specific area be generalized to a point where it would lower their general self worth. Kernis (2003) suggested that secure and true high self esteem are two parts of optimal self esteem, and it is this kind or self esteem that is connected to so many positive traits, while fragile and contingent high self esteem are responsible for the negative findings. One proposed function of self esteem is that it serves as a gauge of social acceptance (Leary, 1999); thi s is called the "Sociometer Theory." According to this, self esteem fluctuates depending on the quality and satisfaction of valuable social relationships. If an individual feels particularly accepted by others, his or her self esteem will rise, and if he or she is rejected, self esteem will drop. Additionally, the more people with whom one has meaningful relationships, the higher the self esteem will be.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 20 Studies connect self esteem with many positive traits, and researchers have theorized as to why that may be. Ramsdal (2008) suggests that self esteem can be split into two subdivisions, self liking and self competence. Self liking is a measure of social worth; high self liking is characterized by positive affect and social acceptance. The other aspect, self competence, is a sense of efficacy and power in one's life. Self liking and self competence were shown to correlate positively with beneficial aspects of the Big Five (Ramsdal, 2008). A sample of 128 Norwegian college students were recruit ed from previous psychology studies. All participants completed the self liking/self competence scale (SLCS) and the Big Five personality inventory. All measures had been translated into Norwegian. Overall, researchers found that both self likin g and self competence positively correlated with all positive Big Five traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness), and negatively correlated with the negative trait (neuroticism). Most interesting were the positive correlations b etween self liking and self competence with extraversion and openness (Ramsdal, 2008). These two traits are generally associated with seeking and accepting novelty, and in previous studies have been used as a measure of curiosity (Hartung & Renner, 2011). While the correlations were moderate, they do show a connection. Although not directly discussed by Ramsdal (2008), both aspects of self esteem were significantly correlated with the aspects of extraversion and openness. It is unclear whether o r not one directly causes the others, or whether another variable is involved. Further study is needed to determine how this type of self esteem influences curiosity. More evidence that connects self esteem with a sense of competence, efficacy
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 21 and control comes from a meta analysis examining self esteem and job satisfaction. It is thought that a positive general self concept could lead to feelings of control and efficacy, as well as decreased neuroticism (Judge & Bono, 2001). In theory, these are traits that could contribute to job satisfaction; therefore, since self esteem contributes to these feelings, it is possible that self esteem contributes to job satisfaction. In order to determine whether this is true or not, Judge and Bono (2001) condu cted a meta analysis of 135 previous studies on job satisfaction, self esteem, efficacy, neuroticism, and sense of control. It was found that all traits except neuroticism positively correlated with job satisfaction. This suggests that self esteem is rel ated somehow to job satisfaction, as well as the other positive traits examined. The correlations suggest that high self esteem is related to these positive feelings, which lead to greater life satisfaction that would include job satisfaction. Th ere is evidence that self esteem can protect against the effects of anxiety. Greenberg et al. (1992) found, in a series of two experiments, that increased self esteem led to a reduction in reported anxiety. In the first experiment, 52 participants all com pleted a series of personality questionnaires; then, they reported to the lab where they completed a self esteem manipulation. This manipulation consisted of a personality profile, which participants were told were based on their pretests. Participants r eceived either positive feedback on their personality tests, to raise their self esteem, or neutral feedback as a control. Then, participants watched a documentary on death. Those in the anxiety inducing group watched a scene of an autopsy, which had bee n shown in previous studies to create anxiety; those in the control condition watched a different scene from the same documentary that did not depict graphic details
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 22 or images of death. After this, all completed the state trait anxiety inventory and the R osenberg self esteem scale. The researchers found that participants who had high self esteem induced and then watched the anxiety inducing clip reported significantly less anxiety than those who had not had high self esteem induced and had watched the anx iety inducing clip. This result indicates that self esteem may have protected participants against the negative effects of the autopsy video. The second experiment was conducted to determine if there was any effect of self esteem on the physiolog ical effects of anxiety (raised heart rate, sweating, etc.). In this experiment, 44 participants first had a baseline body measure taken (sweat, heart rate, etc.); then, they all completed a series of anagram puzzles. In order to induce self esteem in on e group, participants were told they got two more puzzles correct than any other participant. Those in the control group were told that the results of the puzzles did not matter. Then, all participants were reattached to the monitoring device. Those in the anxiety group were told that they may receive shocks from the device; those in the control group were not told anything. The experimenters recorded the amount of sweat, heart rate, and other physical signs of anxiety. The researchers found that those who had high self esteem induced, and were warned of shocks had less of an increase in physical anxiety than those in the group that were warned of shocks and had not had high self esteem induced. These results could indicate that self esteem protects in dividuals from negative emotions such as anxiety, at least in the presence of uncomfortable thoughts of physical threat. People with high self esteem, in addition to demonstrating less anxiety than
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 23 those with low self esteem, are also thought to keep worki ng at a task despite setbacks. It was found that individuals with high self esteem persisted in the face of a single failure more than those with low self esteem; however, this effect was reversed after a repeated failure (DiPaula & Campbell, 2002). Par ticipants included 160 individuals taken from a larger population of undergraduate students. Participants were selected because they scored in the upper and lower third percent of the Rosenberg self esteem inventory, administered at a previous time. Upon entering the lab, participants first completed the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) to obtain a base measure of their negative affect. Then participants were given instructions on how to complete a Word Fragment Test (WFT) they would be working on. The test involved filling in missing letters in words (e.g. R_ _B_ W' is RAINBOW'). Participants were told that this was a measure of cognitive function. Participants were also told that there was a possibility that they would be completing anot her cognitive measure, called the Remote Association Test (RAT). After this, participants were given two samples of WFT problems, designed to be easy. Participants were then asked to rate their expected performance on the actual test, on a Likert scale f rom 1 to 9. Then, participants in the single failure condition were told they would be completing one 6 item WFT, and those in the multiple failure condition were told they would be completing three 6 item WFTs. The problems on these tests were all diffic ult and designed to create a sense of failure in participants. After completing these problems, participants were informed that they had scored in the lower third of all other students completing this task. Participants were asked to re rate their perfor mance, and
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 24 complete the PANAS again. Then, they were asked to complete a thought listing task, where they recorded the thoughts most salient to them during the WFT task; these were later coded for rumination. Participants were then told that they would have to complete one more WFT. Those in the no alternative condition were told they could quit after they finished the WFT, and were given no further instructions. Those in the alternative condition were told that they had the option of completing the RAT All participants were told that they had 25 minutes until they began the next part of the experiment. After 25 minutes had passed, participants were asked to rate their perceived progress on the tests they had completed, on a scale from 1 to 9. The res earchers found that participants with high self esteem persisted significantly longer than those with low self esteem on the WFT tasks, after a single failure. The opposite effect was found in the multiple failure condition, with those with high self este em persisting less at the WFT tasks than those with low self esteem. This difference was only found in the alternative condition; there was no significant difference between low and high self esteem participants when they were not offered an alternative RAT to complete. Regardless of the condition, high self esteem participants ruminated less than low self esteem participants. Researchers concluded that this supported the theory that those with high self esteem aim for success, and after a series of simi lar failures, would want to pursue a different task on which they may have a chance for success. The theory also states that those with low self esteem are motivated by the need to avoid failure and after repeated failure may persist longer in hopes of ev entually achieving success.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 25 The researchers also performed a second study in order to determine if similar results to the first could be achieved in a more natural setting (DiPaula & Campbell, 2002). A sample of 83 first year university students, selected from the upper and lower third scores of a population that had taken the Rosenberg self esteem inventory, took part in this experiment. First participants completed an initial goal assessment, in which they outlined their social and academic goals for the coming school year. Participants were asked to make their goals concrete in order to make success more attainable (ex: get an A' in chemistry' vs. get good grades'). This outline took the form of a pie chart, which created a visual representation of the individual's goals. Five months later, participants were asked to retake the Rosenberg self esteem inventory and reassess their goal pie chart. Participants also rated their satisfaction of goal progress, whether they wished to pursue their goals fur ther, and their level of rumination throughout the five month period. Researchers found that participants with high self esteem generally pursued their goals for longer and were more satisfied with their achievement than those with low self esteem. They a lso found that those with high self esteem reported more self regulating, and less rumination than those with low self esteem. These results seem to demonstrate that those with high self esteem were more persistent during the five month period and generat ed a greater sense of satisfaction than those with low self esteem. This could suggest that individuals with high self esteem are likely to continue working at a task, such as exploring or learning, as well as derive more satisfaction from this task.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 26 A pe rson's response to failure plays a large part in task persistence and the tasks in which a person is willing to engage (Dodgeson &Wood, 1998). It is theorized that when a person is anxious about failure, either in the recent past, or in the anticipated fu ture, a positive self concept may help overcome the anxiety. Keeping one's positive traits in mind in the face of failure is crucial in allowing one to push past those feelings and pursue the task. High self esteem may assist with this; it is hypothesize d that those with high self esteem are better able to keep their positive traits in mind and will actively concentrate on those traits when presented with failure (Dodgeson &Wood, 1998). Dodgeson and Wood (1998) wanted to provide evidence for this with a study of 72 participants. A pool of undergraduates first completed the self rating scale (SRS), which measured their sense of inadequacy, and doubled as a self esteem measure. They also completed the self attribute questionnaire (SAQ), which meas ured their sense of their own strengths and weaknesses across 12 domains (athletic, intelligent, etc.). From this, 72 participants were chosen based on their SRS scores. Thirty six were selected because they were rated to have high self esteem, and 36 wer e selected because they were rated to have low self esteem. All participants were given a "verbal problem solving" task, which consisted of a book of anagrams. The books in the success condition consisted of 20 items; the books in the failure condition co nsisted of 72 items; half of the participants in the no feedback condition were randomly given a 72 item book, and half were given a 20 item book. After about 10 minutes, experimenters collected the booklets and told participants they were going to leave the room to score their answers. The experimenter
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 27 returned and told those in the success condition that they scored 92% correct; those in the failure condition were told that they scored 38% correct, and those in the no feedback condition were told that t he scores were not important. After this, all participants completed a computer task to measure their types of self thoughts. This task presented participants with a set of four positive and four negative traits from each of the 12 dimensions of the SAQ. Participants were required to indicate whether or not this trait described them, by pressing a button marked "me" or "not me." Their reaction times were recorded. It was hypothesized that after the failure, those with high self esteem would be quicker a t identifying their positive traits, and slower at identifying their negative traits, indicating that they were actively thinking of their positive qualities to compensate after the failure. The researchers found that those with high self esteem, after ex periencing failure, did react more quickly when identifying their positive traits than those participants with low self esteem who had experienced failure. There was no difference in how quickly high self esteem participants could identify weaknesses when compared to low self esteem participants. This supports the researcher's hypothesis, and supports the theory that after failure those with high self esteem actively think about their good qualities, to reduce negative feeling. Whereas it is thoug ht that those with high self esteem react better to failure, it is thought that those with low self esteem react relatively poorly, in comparison. People with low self esteem have a more intense emotional reaction to failure and will over generalize the f ailure's implications more than those with high self esteem (Brown & Dutton, 1995).
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 28 One study of 172 participants was selected from the lower and upper third scores of a larger sample that had taken the Rosenberg self esteem inventory. There were 91 participants who were considered to have low self esteem, and 81 who were considered to have high self esteem. All participants were told that they would be completing a verbal problem solving task called a Remote Access Task (RAT) which consisted of verbal relational problems (ex: car/swimming/cue: solution pool). Participants were either given 10 easy (success condition) or 10 difficult (failure condition) RAT problems, and 5 minutes to work on them. After this time, participants were asked to ev aluate their work. Then, all participants completed an emotion scale measuring their feelings of self worth (FOSW). This scale measured their emotional states, and feelings immediately after this task. Researchers found that low self esteem part icipants in the failure condition experienced significantly more distress than those with high self esteem. In addition to this, those with high self esteem reported a higher evaluation of performance regardless of their condition (success or failure). T he researchers concluded that self esteem of participants affected both their emotional reactions, as well as their self evaluations, with people with low self esteem having higher emotional reactions and lower self ratings. In a second study, des igned to replicate the findings of the first, 129 participants who fell into the upper and lower third scores of the Rosenberg self esteem inventory were selected. Participants completed a similar procedure to the first study, with the exceptions of the P ANAS being used as a pretest, and after finishing the 10 RATs, participants completed a trait adjective checklist, rating a series of adjectives (bright,
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 29 unwise, simple minded, etc.) on a scale of 1 to 7 in regards to how descriptive the word was of them. The researchers found that, similar to the first study, participants in the failure condition experienced more negative, emotional distress than those with high self esteem. Summary. The research presented here demonstrates that high self esteem has been connected to better task performance, a greater sense of competence, more positive feelings, and less anxiety (Baumeister, 2008; Ramsdal, 2008; Judge & Bono, 2001; Dodgeson & Wood, 1998; Greenberg et al., 1992). Based on this evidence it could be hypothes ized that self esteem may be associated with curiosity, which has also been connected to these positive traits. Self compassion Self compassion is another concept of self worth that may be related to curiosity. Neff (2003) identified three basic concepts of self compassion; they can be defined as being more understanding of one's mistakes, keeping both negative and positive feelings in balance with one another, and remembering that failure is a part of human existence. Self compassion is related to other psychological approaches and models. For instance, the self in relation model prompts individuals to adopt a non judgmental attitude toward themselves and others, while recognizing emotions that are shared by everyone. The humanistic approach in counseli ng a person recognizes the need for growth and a non judgmental attitude towards one's self. Self compassion fits nicely with these models, in that it is designed to be a measure of how willing one is to accept personal failure and recognize the feelings and experiences of others. When compared to self esteem, self compassion seems less
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 30 problematic. Artificially raised or abnormally high self esteems can lead to fragile self images and maladaptive behaviors (Neff, 2003; Kernis, 2003). Those with a reser ve of self compassion are usually healthier because they accept their flaws as part of their human nature. Those with self compassion are also able to change their behavior because they will not be distraught at a failure to achieve a goal (Neff, 2003). T his could play an important role in the study of curiosity. It could be theorized that those with a high rating of self compassion would be more curious because they can accept potential failure better than those with low self compassion. This ability wo uld allow them to continue to explore despite setbacks. Because of self compassion's emphasis on forgiveness during negative emotional states, and in times of failure, it is thought that high self compassion may assist individuals in learning from failure. Failure provides an important opportunity to learn from mistakes. When encountering failure, it is possible to analyze it to determine what was done wrong and what action to take to avoid the same sort of failure in the future. However, this m ay be difficult to do if the failure is the cause of negative emotions. It is difficult to discuss negative emotions, so if the failure is particularly emotional, it is less likely to be discussed and nothing will be gained from it (Sheppard & Cardon, 200 9). Sheppard and Cardon (2009) listed several traits that can make failure more personal. If the failed project or activity is related to the person's sense of competence and autonomy, or if an individual feels a sense of connectedness to the project, fai lure will create strong negative emotions and it will be more personal. Sheppard and Cardon (2009) propose that one possible way to eliminate these negative feelings is to develop a strong sense of self compassion. The three facets of
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 31 self compas sion may be able to protect an individual from negativity: 1) self kindness may keep one from thinking that one is "sub par" for failing, 2) common humanity will make one remember that he or she is not the first person to fail at a task, 3) mindfulness wi ll allow the individual to detach from his or her feelings and help him or her to analyze the failure critically, allowing him or her to learn from it. There is evidence that those with higher self compassion are less intimidated by failure and will conti nue to exhibit interest in a subject in which they have "failed" (Neff et al., 2005). In the first part of their study, Neff et al. wanted to determine what kinds of academic attitudes self compassion was related to. Two hundred and twenty two undergradu ate students completed the Self Compassion Scale (SCS), The Goal Orientation Scale, a fear of failure scale, the Perceived Competence for Learning Scale, the Autonomous Regulation Subscale of Self Regulation, and the Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Invento ry. They also reported their Grade Point Averages. The researchers found that there was a positive correlation between self compassion and the need to master tasks; self compassion was negatively correlated to the need to appear proficient at tasks. The re was also a negative correlation between self compassion and the fear of failure and anxiety. These results support the idea that those with high self compassion want to master tasks for the sake of mastering them and learn for the sake of learn ing. They also are less afraid and anxious about failure. These traits would make satiating curiosity easier because there is a need for personal mastery, as opposed to just appearing skilled, and less anxiety about the outcomes of exploration. The second part of the same study, was designed to measure the relationship
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 32 between self compassion and how participants dealt with recent failure. Two hundred and fourteen undergraduates were selected to participate; the selection occurred just before the participants received their midterm exam grade. Of these 214, 110 reported dissatisfaction with their midterm grade. Each participant completed the same measures as those in the first study, along with the COPE Scale, which measured how well they could cope with negative emotion. The researchers found that those who were high in self compassion were more likely to deal with the negative feelings in a constructive manner, than those who were low in self compassion. This research adds to the conc ept of highly self compassionate people being able to continue to exhibit curiosity, even in the face of failure. Self compassion is proposed to help people learn from their failure, it may also encourage curiosity. In the process of learning from failure a person would come to realize it is not a negative experience, and come to think of it as a learning experience. The "learner" would be more inclined to show an interest in a wider variety of activities because he or she knows that it is possible to de al with potential failure constructively. This ability to examine failure and learn from it, may mean that the negative effects of failure may not be as damaging for someone with high self compassion versus low self compassion. This could mean that, after a failure, someone with high self compassion will not be deterred, and would persist and learn despite the failure. Highly self compassionate people have been shown to be more forgiving of their past failures in non academic contexts. In a serie s of five studies, it was shown that the participants with higher self compassion demonstrated higher self kindness, and
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 33 less self focus (Leary, Tate, Adams, Allen, & Hancock, 2007). In the first study, 117 participants were recruited and measured for the ir state self compassion, with the Self Compassion Scale. A few weeks later, they were instructed to complete two questionnaires spaced four days apart. They were asked to recall a negative event that was their fault one time, and the second time, they r ecalled a negative event that was not their fault. The questionnaires consisted of a mood inventory and questions asking how important the event was, and how participants felt and reacted after the event. The researchers found that those with hig her self compassion on the pretest were less likely to report negative affect relating to the event (anxiety or self directed anger) than those with low self compassion. Highly self compassionate participants also reported a greater understanding of the e motions that followed the event, and less of a self focus than those with low self compassion. Their second study that used a similar method to the first, but assigned participants a negative experience to reflect upon, found similar results. From this, the researchers concluded that those with high self compassion were treating themselves better after a negative situation. One idea that could explain this was that those with high self compassion felt more competent, and were less affected by negative/aw kward situations and rejection, because they felt confident enough to seek other positive situations Leary et al. (2007). This confidence could not only drive them to positive experiences, but also lead them to novel ones. Thus, the self compassionate pe rson would exhibit curiosity in the face of failure. In their final study, Leary et al. (2007) attempted to experimentally manipulate self compassion. One hundred and fifty participants were given the SCS as a pretest, then after a few weeks cam e into the lab. There, they were assigned to a self
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 34 compassion inducing condition, a self esteem inducing condition, a writing control condition, or a control condition. All participants were instructed to think about an event that made them feel embarra ssed/awkward/bad about themselves. All conditions, except the control (who were asked to think about a negative event, and not write about it), wrote a summary of this event. Those in the writing control were allowed to write uninterrupted, but in the se lf compassion and esteem conditions, participants were provided with more writing prompts by experimenters. In the self compassion inducing condition, the prompts were designed to create self compassion in the participants ("how could you treat yourself k indly after this event?"), and the self esteem inducing condition was meant to create self esteem ("list positive traits about yourself.") After this, participants completed questionnaires asking how they felt about this event, who was most responsible fo r it, and whether it was a good or bad event. The experimenters found that those in the self compassion condition felt the least amount of negative emotions about the event, of all the conditions. They also took more responsibility for the event, and reported less self focus than participants in the other conditions did. From this, it was concluded that researchers had successfully induced a temporary self compassionate mindset in participants, which allowed them to take more responsibility for t he event, while still feeling positive about it. These studies show that self compassion seems to alleviate the negative emotions that come from past failings. This could mean that having a high sense of self compassion decreases the feelings of anxiety from negative personal events. It is thought that self compassion may also relieve anxiety from other negative experiences, as well, such as ego threat.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 35 Self compassion does appear to act as a buffer against anxiety from ego threat (Neff, Kirkpatrick & Rude, 2007). Ninety one undergraduate students filled out a series of questionnaires that consisted of the SCS, Rosenberg's self esteem scale, the PANAS, and Speilberger's state trait anxiety scale. After this, participants answered a seri es of questions that may be asked in a job interview, including "what are your greatest weaknesses?" This question was designed to produce ego threat and anxiety. Then, all participants filled out the state subscale of Speilberger's anxiety measure. The researchers found that self compassion was negatively correlated with anxiety after answering the ego threatening questions. This result indicates that a high sense of self compassion may have protected participants from anxiety after they were a sked to consider their weaknesses. This could mean that self compassion has some qualities that prevent individuals from feeling excess anxiety. In addition to this research that suggests self compassion can protect from anxiety, there has also been rese arch done that not only demonstrates self compassion's relationship to the desire to explore, but also to other beneficial personality traits. It was found that self compassion was positively correlated with positive personality traits (Neff & Kir kpatrick, 2007). In previous studies, it has been found that self compassion was correlated with an interest in learning, so experimenters wished to determine whether or not it was correlated with curiosity and exploration. One hundred and seventy seven participants completed the SCS, the three dimensional wisdom scale (3D WS) measuring their sense of affective, cognitive, and reflective wisdom. They also completed the Personal Growth Initiative Scale (PGIS) measuring their
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 36 involvement in self growth. T hey completed the Curiosity and Exploration index (CEI), the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS), the Life Orientation Scale Revised (LOT R), which measured optimism, and the Big Five personality scale. The researchers found that self compassion was positively correlated with happiness, optimism, positive affect, personal initiative, and curiosity. The experimenters concluded that because self compassion is closely related to positive traits, it allows individuals to exhibit a higher sense of curiosi ty, because they can be cheerful and optimistic in the face of failure traits (Neff & Kirkpatrick, 2007). There are drawbacks to this study, however. Since it was purely correlational, there is no strong evidence that self compassion causes these persona lity traits, and not vice versa (positive traits leading to self compassion). This study does show that self compassion and curiosity are positively correlated. Summary. Self compassion has been defined as being more understanding of one's mistakes, keepin g both negative and positive feelings in balance with one another, and remembering that failure is a part of human existence (Neff, 2003). It is thought that self compassion may assist people in learning from their failures by helping them look at the exp erience objectively (Sheppard & Cardon, 2009). There is some evidence to support this; studies have shown that self compassion can alleviate failure anxiety from an immediate academic failure (Neff et al., 2005), as well as a recalled failure or negative experience in the past (Leary et al., 2007). Self compassion also seems to help individuals cope with anxiety about their own weaknesses (Neff Kirkpatrick, & Rude, 2007). Self compassion has been shown to correlate with a greater amount of positive fee ling and curiosity (Neff & Kirkpatrick, 2007).
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 37 Current Study Curiosity has been shown to have many benefits. Self described curious people are more accurate judges of other's personalities (Hartung & Renner, 2011), demonstrate more workplace learning and performance (Harrison, Ashford, & Sluss, 2011; Reio & Wiswell, 2000), and experience more positive affect than those who are less curious (Kashdan & Roberts, 2006). One theory as to why curiosity is related to positive traits is that it is directed by a need to master new skills, and it is fueled by the idea that the individual will be able to master those skills (Arone et al., 2011). This concept involves highly curious people continuously trying to master a task, despite unforeseen setbacks and anxiet y; this theory is similar to the concept of self esteem. Self esteem has been shown to coincide with positive traits that also occur with high self rated curiosity, such as reduced anxiety and increased positive feeling (Kashdan et al, 2011; Kashdan & Robe rts, 2006; Ramsdal, 2008; Judge & Bono, 2001; Dodgeson &Wood, 1998; Greenberg et al., 1992). In addition to this, self esteem is generally related to positive feelings and higher amounts of self worth. A typical trait of self esteem is that the individua ls with higher self esteem are more aware of their positive traits and strengths than those with lower self esteem (Baumeister, 2003; Dodgson & Wood, 1998). Thus, it is generally held that those with high self esteem exhibit more persistence at tasks, des pite failure or anxiety (Dodgeson &Wood, 1998; Greenberg et al.; 1992; DiPaula & Campbell, 2002). Another concept that can be related to persistence is self compassion. Self compassion has three components: self kindness, mindfulness, and keeping proble ms
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 38 in the context of common humanity (Neff, 2003). Although it is a recently developed concept, self compassion has been shown to allow people to face failure in a more productive manner; in other words, forgiving themselves (Neff et al, 2005). Highly se lf compassionate people are more likely to accept and understand their emotions following a negative event (Leary et al., 2007). It is this approach to negative events that could allow people with high self compassion to persist, and improve at a task des pite feeling negative emotions. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of manipulated self esteem and self compassion on curiosity. The question of this research is: is state curiosity an outcome of state self esteem or state self compassion ? This thesis investigated whether temporarily induced state self esteem or self compassion had an effect on the measures of state curiosity. The levels of self esteem and self compassion of the participants were altered, and the level of curiosity and ex ploration they exhibit was measured. The experiment had three conditions: one in which self esteem was induced, another in which self compassion was induced, and a control group, in which self esteem and compassion were not manipulated. In order to manipu late self esteem, participants were given a bogus personality profile that they believed was created based on the surveys they had completed in a pretest. Those in the self esteem condition were given a profile consisting of mainly positive feedback in or der to raise self esteem. Those in the control and self compassion only condition were given a profile consisting of mainly neutral feedback. Next, all participants were asked to perform a writing exercise. Those in the self
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 39 compassion condition were pr ompted to write down a negative event they had experienced, and they then were prompted to write ways in which they could show self compassion during this event, in order to raise self compassion. Those in the control and self esteem only group were promp ted to write about the events of an average day. After this, participants were asked to complete the post manipulation measures: the state curiosity subscale of Speilberger's personality inventory (Spielberger, 1979), the Heatherton & Polivy state self esteem scale (Heatherton & Polivy, 1990), and the Self compassion scale (Neff, 2003). The participants were then given the chance to complete the behavioral measure of curiosity. Participants in all conditions were told that the experimenter would need a few moments to prepare the next section of the experiment, and while they were waiting they could complete an optional reading task in which they would read pages of information taken from a textbook. This task was presented on a computer screen through SuberLab 4.0 which recorded how long the participants spent on each page of information, and how many pages they read. The more pages they read, the higher their curiosity score was. After three minutes of this activity, the experimenter returned and deb riefed them. The hypothesized results of this study were: There would be a significant effect of condition, such that 1) Those in the induced self esteem condition would exhibit more curiosity that the control condition. 2) Those in the induced self compa ssion condition would exhibit more curiosity than the control condition. Method
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 40 Participants Participants were undergraduate students from New College of Florida. All were volunteers recruited via the school's email system. There were 49 in total; 35 fem ale participants, 11 males participants, and 3 participants who did not report their gender, all of whom ranged from 18 to 26 in age. There were 16 participants in the two experimental conditions, and 17 participants in the control. Materials For the complete list of measures and stimuli see Appendix A. Pretest measures included: Eysenck's Personality Inventory (EPI) (Costa & McCrae, 1995). This measure was shortened for use in this study; it is a measure of an individual's level of extraversion and neuroticism. For the current study this survey consisted of 25 statements and traits. Participants had to respond with either a yes' or a no,' indicating whether or not the statement described them. Morningness and Eveningness Scale (Horne and Ostb erg, 1976). This measure was shortened for use in this study; it is a measure of an individual's preference for mornings or evenings. For this study the survey consisted of three questions, asking how they would act during mornings or evenings. The Big F ive Personality Inventory (John, Donahue, & Kentle, 1991). This measure was shortened for this study; it is a measure of personality traits. Participants were asked to rate how much they felt 22 traits ("can be tense," "can be moody," etc) could apply to t hem with a Likert scale ranging from "disagree strongly" (1) to "agree strongly" (5).
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 41 The Experiences in Close Relationships Revised (ECR R) Questionnaire (Fraley, Waller, & Brennan, 2000). This measure has been shortened for use in this study; it is a me asure of relationship style. This survey consisted of 24 statements, participants rated how much they felt the statement described them on a 7 point Likert scale from strongly disagree' to strongly agree.' In lab measures included: State Trait Personali ty Inventory (STPI ) (Spielberger, 1979). This is a measure of state and trait curiosity, anxiety, anger, and depression. The questionnaire consisted of 80 items on a four point Likert scale, ranging from "not at all" (1) to "very much so" (4). There we re 21 questions that were reverse scored. Each question related to the participant's level of curiosity, anxiety, anger, and depression they felt in the present moment, and in general, there were 10 questions for each subscale. The highest score possible on any of the subscales was 40, and the lowest was 10. A higher score on any of the subscales meant higher levels of that trait. Heatherton & Polivy Self esteem Scale (Heatherton & Polivy, 1991). This is a measure of state self esteem. The questionnai re consisted of 20 items asking participants to rate how true the statements were for them ("I feel confident about my abilities"). They rated statements on a Likert scale from "not at all" (1) to "extremely"(5). There were 13 questions that were reverse scored. The highest score possible was 100, and the lowest was 20, a higher score meant a higher sense of state self esteem. The Self Compassion Scale (SCS) (Neff 2003). This is a measure of self compassion. The questionnaire consisted of 26 questions on a five point Likert scale,
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 42 ranging from "almost never" (1) to "almost always" (5). There were 13 questions that were reverse scored. Each question related to how participants generally reacted to their negative traits. ("I'm disapproving and judgmenta l about my own flaws and inadequacies.") The highest score possible was 130, and the lowest was 26, a higher score meant a higher sense of self compassion. The Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) ( Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). This is a measur e of the level of state positive and negative feelings. Participants were asked to rate 20 traits on a Likert scale ranging from very slightly or not at all' (1) to quite a bit or extremely' (5). There were 10 traits that made up the negative affect sc ale (distressed, upset, hostile), and 10 traits that made up the positive affect subscale (interested, proud, enthusiastic). The highest score on either scale is 50 and the lowest score is 10, with a higher score on the positive subscale representing high er levels of positive affect, and a lower score on the negative subscale representing lower levels of negative affect. Behavioral measure of curiosity. This was presented on a SuperLab 4.0 computer program. The task consisted of twenty paragraphs taken from the book Breaking the Maya Code by Michael D. Coe (1999); each paragraph contained information on linguistics, Central American geography, Mayan culture, or historical scholars, and were all of approximately equal length. Participants were told that if they wanted to continue to the next page, they could press the F' key, and that they could stop at any time. This measure was disguised as an optional reading task, and designed to measure behavioral curiosity in participants. If the participants opt ed in to the task, they would be counted as more curious. The computer program measured how long
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 43 they spent looking at each page, and how many pages they looked at. Participants who viewed more items would be counted as more curious. Procedure Pa rticipants were told that this study was investigating the relationship between personality traits, word choice, and writing style. Upon recruitment, and obtaining consent, participants were asked to complete the preliminary measure, containing Eysenck's Personality Inventory, the Morningness and Eveningness Scale, the Big Five Personality Inventory and the Experiences in Close Relationships Revised (ECR R) Questionnaire. This would provide a plausible basis for the bogus feedback participants would recei ve later on. They believed that the questionnaires would be scored and analyzed. After they completed the pretest measures, each participant came into the lab individually. First, each participant was randomly assigned to one of the three condit ions; one in which self esteem was induced, one in which self compassion was induced, and a control, in which neither self esteem nor self compassion was manipulated. Upon entering the lab, all participants were told that their questionnaires had been sco red and a summary of their personality traits had been created, which they were allowed to read. These were, in reality, self esteem manipulations developed by Greenberg et al. (1992) that were adapted for this study. Those in the raised self esteem condi tion read a positive personality summary: You are self sufficient and you do not have a strong need for other people to like you and admire you. You wisely tend to accept yourself as you
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 44 are, rather than be critical of yourself. You have an exceptional a mount of unused energy which you can easily learn to turn to your advantage. While you may feel you have some personality weaknesses, your personality is very strong. Your sexual adjustment has presented far less than the usual amount of problems for you While you may feel worrisome and insecure, you have a great deal of discipline and control on the inside. You seldom have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You may prefer a certain amount of change and variety but when necessary can work effectively and creatively even when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself on being an independent thinker and are open to new opinions and viewpoints. You are more capable than most of be ing quite frank in revealing yourself to others. Although you are generally extroverted, affable, sociable, you also have the capacity to enjoy and fully utilize the time you have to yourself. Given your personality traits, there's a good chance that eve n your most ambitious aspirations are realistic. Those in the control group and raised self compassion group were told the same thing as the raised self esteem group, but their personality summary was more neutral. It read: You need other people t o like you and admire you. You have some tendency to be too critical of yourself when you should accept yourself as you are. Much of your energy is not used to full advantage. You have personality
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 45 weaknesses. However, you are able to compensate for mos t of them. Your sexual adjustment has presented few problems for you. Often you have difficulty disciplining yourself, hindering you from getting things done. You are usually confident in your abilities but you are often concerned about realizing your potential. At times you doubt whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety but sometimes allow yourself to be hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You try to be an independent thinker but often fail to do so, accepting others' opinions without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary and reserved. Some of your aspirations are a bit unrealistic but others are attainable. Next all participants were asked to complete a writing task. Those in the raised self compassion group received a writing prompt adapted from Leary et al. (2007 ): Think about a negative event that you experienced in high school or college that made you feel badly about yourself something that involved failure, humiliation, or rejection. After four minutes of writing, they were directed towards another set of pro mpts that were meant to induce self compassion: 1. List ways in which other people also experience similar events. 2. Write a paragraph expressing understanding, kindness, and concern to yourself in the same way that you might express concern to a friend who h ad
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 46 undergone the experience. 3. Describe your feelings about the event in an objective and unemotional fashion. Participants were allowed to write from these prompts for four more minutes. In the control condition, participants were given the prompt: Write about the events in an average day for you. After this, participants were asked complete the STPI, the SCS, the Heatherton & Polivy State Self esteem Scale, and the PANAS to measure their self reported curiosity, and check that the manipulations had work ed. Participants then were measured for behavioral curiosity. The experimenter informed the participant they would have to wait for the experimenter to set up the next section of the experiment. The experimenter asked if the participant wished to comple te an optional reading task while they waited. The experimenter informed each participant that their participation in the reading task would not affect the results of the study. If they opted into the task, the experimenter directed them to a computer wi th a SuperLab 4.0 program that presented one p assage of text per page. The information consisted of passages taken from the book Breaking the Maya Code by Michael D. Coe (1999). How many pages they viewed and how long they spent on each one would be meas ured and counted towards their overall behavioral curiosity score. The participants who viewed more items would be counted as more curious. After this, participants were thoroughly debriefed, rewarded with a gift card of five dollars, thanked and dismisse d. Results Refer to Table 1 for a complete report of the means and standard deviations of
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 47 the self esteem, self compassion, and state curiosity scores for each condition. Before analysis of the state and behavioral curiosity scores, an analysis of responses on the Heatherton and Polivy State Self esteem Scale, and the Self compassion Scale, were performed as a manipulation check. A one way between subjects ANOVA was performed to compare the effect of manipulation on self esteem scores across the three conditions. There was no significant difference found between conditions at the p < 0.05 level in regards to state self esteem [ F (2,46)= 0.80, p =0.46] (Figure 1). This result indicated that the self esteem manipulation was not effective Additionally, a one way between subjects ANOVA was performed to compare the effect of manipulation on self compassion scores across the three conditions. There was no significant difference found between conditions at the p < 0.05 level in regar ds to state self compassion. [ F (2,46)= 0.32, p =0.73] (Figure 2). This result indicated that the self compassion manipulation was not effective. Due to this, it was not expected that there would be statistically significant differences in state c uriosity scores. A one way between subjects ANOVA was performed to compare the effect of manipulation on state curiosity scores across the three conditions. There was no significant difference found between conditions at the p < 0.05 level in regards to s tate curiosity. [ F (2,46)= 1.21, p =0.31] (Figure 3). In addition to this, there appeared to be a ceiling effect in the behavioral curiosity test, with 43 participants opting into the reading task, and 6 opting out (Figure 4). A correlation was run in order to determine if any pattern had occurred between state or trait curiosity, and state self esteem. There was a significant positive
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 48 correlation between state self esteem and state curiosity. [ r (46)=0.31, p =.03]. The correlation between state sel f compassion and state curiosity was not significant. [ r (46)=0.14, p =.32]. There was a significant positive correlation between trait curiosity and state self esteem. [ r (46)=0.51, p =.0002], There was also a significant positive correlation between trait c uriosity and state self compassion [ r (46)=0.39, p =.005]. Finally there was a significant positive correlation between state curiosity and trait curiosity. [ r (46)=0.60, p <.0001]. Discussion None of the hypotheses presented in the introduction were supported by the data. Analyses revealed that the self esteem and self compassion manipulations were not effective and participants in the experimental conditions did not feel an increase in self esteem or self compassion when compared to the control group. Becau se of this, there was not expected to be any difference in curiosity across conditions. Indeed, there was no significant difference between the self rated state curiosity score in the experimental groups when compared to the control. In addition to this, there was a ceiling effect on the behavioral curiosity measure; nearly all participants opted into the reading task. There are several possible explanations as to why there was no significant difference between groups, one being that the selected measures did not accurately measure the variables. It could be possible that the Heatherton and Polivy state self esteem scale was not sensitive enough to detect a rise in participant's self esteem, or the items on this survey did not reflect the type of self est eem that was raised in
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 49 participants. For instance, it is possible that the profiles raised a general sense of self esteem, while the Heatherton and Polivy state self esteem scale measured state self esteem in relation to specific areas (appearance, intell igence, etc). A similar problem may have occurred with the self compassion scale, as it was designed to assess trait self compassion, and not necessarily fluctuations in state self compassion. It may not have been an accurate manipulation check. The Stat e Trait personality inventory may also have been a poor choice as a measure, despite the fact that it contained a state curiosity scale. The state curiosity items could not have been concealed well, or perhaps they were too objective. This measure may no t have been sensitive enough to determine a change in curiosity between conditions. The same could be said for the behavioral curiosity measure. It is possible that it did not really measure curiosity. Instead of demonstrating curiosity, participants we re displaying helpfulness, or a desire to avoid doing nothing' as there was no alternative to the reading task, and opting out would mean just sitting there.' It is also possible that by the time participants completed the survey measures and reached th e behavioral curiosity measure, the effects of the manipulations had faded. In addition to a potential lack of sensitivity of the measurements, it is possible that the participants did not believe the manipulations. During debriefing, several participants reported that they did not think the profile was reflective of them when they read it, and believed that it had some other purpose. This may have been due to alterations made to the manipulation in this experiment. A different pretest was used in this s tudy than in the original manipulation by Greenberg et al. (1992). A different set of surveys was used to construct the personality pretest' and several of these surveys
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 50 were shortened for the participant's ease. This may have had an effect on how parti cipants reacted to the profiles. Another possible issue was that the profiles were not mentioned in the cover story. Participants were not aware that they would receive feedback from the pretest, and this surprise may have increased their skepticism of t he profile. The self compassion manipulation may not have been believable, either. As with the self esteem manipulation, it was abridged for the ease of the participants. This change may have adversely affected the ability to induce self compassion. An other potential problem with the self compassion manipulation was that it was preceded by a personality profile for every participant, and if participants in the raised self compassion condition suspected that the neutral profile they read was really a par t of a manipulation, it may have hindered the level of self compassion this manipulation could induce. Although it is possible that the changes in manipulations could have affected the believability, it is unlikely. This is because the changes were minor and the manipulations used did not differ drastically from their original forms. One way to possibly avoid these problems when conducting similar studies in the future would be to counterbalance the order in which participants experienced the manipulati ons. This may combat any order effect that may appear in the data. Another possibility that could solve the problems encountered in this study would be to use different manipulations, and measures. Changing the positive/neutral personality feedback to positive/no feedback on an anagram task (Greenberg et al. 1992) could be a more believable and subtle manipulation that could be less likely to make participants skeptical. Making the self esteem manipulation more believable may
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 51 also allow for the self c ompassion manipulation to be effective, because the participants will be less suspicious after they complete the self esteem manipulation. The measures could also be changed. Perhaps the same measures used with the original manipulations could be used as manipulation checks. A more recent curiosity measure could be used, such as the CEI (Kashdan, Rose, & FIncham, 2004); this measure has been validated and used in several different studies of curiosity. Using this may reveal some differences in conditions even though it is a trait measure. The items on this measure ask specific things about exploration, and do not let participants create their own definitions of curiosity like the STPI. Yet another way to potentially correct the mistakes made here would be to separate the existing experimental design into two separate experiments one, in which only self esteem is manipulated, and another in which only self compassion is manipulated. This could create a stronger manipulation, as well as eliminate any nega tive effect the manipulations may have had on one another. It should be noted that although the hypotheses were not confirmed, it is still possible that increased self esteem and self compassion would result in increased curiosity. There was no significan t difference in state curiosity between the conditions in this study because the self esteem and self compassion of participants was not raised in a measurable way. Further study on these three traits and how they may relate to one another may reveal that heightened self esteem or heightened self compassion may result in more curiosity. However, it is entirely possible that future study may demonstrate that curiosity is a fixed trait and cannot be induced, or that it can be induced by manipulating other t raits, such as extraversion or general positive affect.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 52 Even though the results of this study could not confirm the hypotheses, there was a significant positive correlation between trait curiosity and state self esteem and self compassion, indica ting that these traits are somehow connected. In addition to the findings here, previous researchers have demonstrated many positive aspects of high curiosity such as increased job performance and satisfaction, reduced anxiety, and better social judgment. In addition to these benefits, curiosity could be useful in the course of therapy, and some research has shown that discussing patient's curiosity has led them to overcome maladaptive behaviors. Curiosity is based in exploring, and thought to be grounded in a sense of competence, meaning that an individual who feels competent will wish to explore more. These aspects of curiosity relate it to self esteem and self compassion, which are known to reduce negative feelings after failure, as well as maintain pe rsistence, and a positive self feeling. All of these aspects are things that may increase exploration, causing an individual to demonstrate more curiosity. If curiosity is indeed connected to self esteem and self compassion, further research may tell that confidence created by self esteem and compassion is what induces curiosity. High self esteem could create the confidence needed to initiate exploration. Because of a high sense of self esteem, the individual will feel better prepared to face unanticipat ed setbacks they come across in the process of exploring, and will be able to demonstrate greater curiosity. In contrast to self esteem, which allows individuals to initiate exploring, self compassion may give people the confidence to continue to explore a fter a failure. Since self compassionate people are better able to deal with failure and negative emotions,
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 53 they may be able to continue to explore after a failure, because they deal with it constructively. In this way, a highly self compassionate person would exhibit higher levels of continued curiosity. If the hypotheses of this study are eventually proven to be correct, it would demonstrate that by increasing self compassion and self esteem, the level of curiosity can also be increased. This informati on could be useful when applied to everyday situations. By encouraging self compassion and self esteem, teachers and professionals could increase curiosity and interest in academic subjects in students, or aspects of the work environment in new employees. Further study is needed to determine if and how curiosity can be induced.
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Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 56 Retrived from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved =0CD0QFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpnsc.files.wordpress.com%2F2011%2 F01%2Fsleeps.pdf&ei=amufT5P3OYfM9QTmqdXKAQ&usg=AFQjCNHud8 Y HG6WeCjyNLsFEDtf IdnMQ John, O. P., Donahue, E. M., & Kentle, R. L. (1991). The Big Five Inventory -Versions 4a and 54 Berkeley, CA: University of California,Berkeley, Institute of Personality a nd Social Research [survey instrument]. Retrieved from http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~johnlab/bfi.htm Judge, T. A., & Bono, J. E. (2001). Relationship of core self evaluations traits -self estee m, generalized self efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability -with job satisfaction and job performance: a meta analysis. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1, 80 92. Kashdan, T. B., Afram, A., Brown, K. W., Birnbeck, M., & Drvoshanov, M. (2 011). Curiosity enhances the role of mindfulness in reducing defensive responses to existential threat. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 8, 1227 1232. Kashdan, T. B., & Roberts, J. E. (2004). Trait and State Curiosity in the Genesis of Intimacy: Differentiation From Related Constructs. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 6, 792. Kashdan, T., B., Roberts, J., E. (2006). Affective outcomes in superficial and intimate interactions: Roles of social anxiety and curiosity. Journal of Researc h in Personality, 40, 140 167. Kashdan, T. B., Rose, P., & Fincham, F. D. (2004). Curiosity and Exploration:
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 57 Facilitating Positive Subjective Experiences and Personal Growth Opportunities. Journal of Personality Assessment, 82, 3, 291 305. Kernis, M. H. (2 003). Toward a Conceptualization of Optimal Self Esteem. Psychological Inquiry, 14, 1, 1 26. Leary, M. R. (1999). Making Sense of Self Esteem. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 1, 32. Leary, M.R., Tate, E.B., Adams, C.E., Allen, A.B., Hancoc k, J. (2007). Self compassion and reactions to unpleasant self relevant events: The implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92 (5), 887 904. doi: 10.1037/0022 3518.104.22.1687 Leonard, N.H., Harvey, M. (2007). The trait of curiosity as a predictor of emotional intelligence. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37 (7), 1545 1561. Lindgren, K. P., Mullins, P. M., Neighbors, C., & Blayney, J. A. (2010). Curiosity killed the cocktail? Curiosity, sensation seeking, and alcohol related problems in college women. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 5, 513 516 Neff, K. D. (2003). Self compassion: An aternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85 101. doi: 10.1080/15298860390129863 Neff, K.D ., Hsieh, Y., Dejitterat K. (2005). Self compassion, achievement goals, and coping with academic failure. Self and Identity, 4 263 287. doi: 10.1080/13576500444000317 Neff, K. D., Kirkpatrick, K. L., & Rude, S. S. (2007). Self compassion and adaptive ps ychological functioning. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 1.)
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 58 Ofer, G., & Durban, J. (1999). Curiosity: reflections on its nature and functions. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 53, 1, 35 51. Ramsdal, G.H. (2008). Personality and Social Sciences: Differential relations between two dimensions of self esteem and the Big Five?. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49, 4, 333 338. Shepherd, D. A., & Cardon, M. S. (2009). Negative Emotional Reactions to Project Failure and the Self Compassion to Learn f rom the Experience. Journal of Management Studies, 46, 6, 923 949. Spielberger, C.D. (1979). Preliminary manual for the State Trait Personality Inventory (STPI) Center for Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology, PCD 4118G, University of Sou th Florida, Tampa. [survey instrument]. Retrieved from http://www.mindgarden.com/products/stpi.htm Van Dijk, E., & Zeelenberg, M. (2007). When curiosity killed regret: Avoiding or seeking the unknown in decision making under uncertainty. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 4.) Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Per sonality and Social Psychology, 54 (6), 1063 1070. [survey instrument]. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved =0CDAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elsevierdirect.com%2Fcompanio ns%2F9780123745170%2FChapter%25203%2FChap ter_3_Worksheet_3.1.pd f&ei=pW2fT9K1GZT 8AS4iuGCAQ&usg=AFQjCNHJVWCiUYRy2bCM5PfGXdvaGwhKwQ
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 59 Table 1 Means and Standard Deviations of mean Self esteem, Self compassion, and Curiosity for the three conditions State SE State SC State Curio Condition n M(S D) M(SD) M(SD) Control 17 3.69(1.43) 3.28(0.78) 2.64(0.86) Raise SE 16 3.62(0.82) 3.29(0.75) 2.80(0.63) Raise SC 16 3.24(0.89) 3.08(1.01) 2.39(0.76)
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 60 Figure 1 Heatherton &Polivy State Self esteem Scale means of the three conditions. Condition 1 Control. Condition 2 Raised Self esteem. Condition 3 Raised Self compassion.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 61 Figure 2 Self compassion Scale means of the three conditions. Condition 1 Control. Condition 2 Raised Self esteem. Condition 3 Raised Self compassion.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 62 Figure 3 State Curiosity Subscale (STPI) means of the three conditions. Condition 1 Control. Condition 2 Raised Self esteem. Condition 3 Raised Self compassion.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 63 Figure 4 Number of pa rticipants who opted in or opted out of the behavioral curiosity measure. Condition 1 Control. Condition 2 Raised Self esteem. Condition 3 Raised Self compassion.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 64 Appendix A Measures and Stimuli Online Pretest Eysenck's Personality Inventory Here are some questions regarding the way you behave, feel and act. After each question is a space for answering YES or NO. Try to decide whether YES or NO represents your usual way of acting or feeling. Then click either the YES or the NO but ton. Work quickly, and don't spend too much time on any one question, we want your first reaction, not a long drawn out thought process. The whole questionnaire shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Be sure not to omit any questions. Start now, work quic kly and remember to answer every question. There are no right or wrong answers, and this isn't a test of intelligence or ability, but simply a measure of the way you behave. 1. Do you often long for excitement? Yes No 2. Are you usually carefree? Yes No 3. If you say you will do something do you always keep your promise, no matter how inconvenient it might be to do so? Yes No 4. Do you suddenly feel shy when you want to talk to an attractive stranger? Yes No 5. Do you often worry about things you sho uld have done or said? Yes No 6. Are your feelings rather easily hurt? Yes No 7. Are you sometimes bubbling over with energy and sometimes very sluggish? Yes No 8. Do you prefer to have few but special friends? Yes No 9. Do you daydream a lot? Yes No 10. Can you usually let yourself go and enjoy yourself a lot at a lively party? Yes No
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 65 11. Would you call yourself tense or highly strung'? Yes No 12. Are you mostly quiet when you are with other people? Yes No 13. Do you sometimes gossip? Yes No 14. If there is something you want to know about, would you rather look it up in a book than talk to someone about it? Yes No 15. Do you like the kind of work that you need to pay close attention to? Yes No 16. Are you an irritable person? Yes No 17. Do you worry about awful things that might happen? Yes No 18. Have you ever been late for an appointment or work? Yes No 19. Do you like talking to people so much that you never miss a chance of talking to a stranger? Yes No 20. Of all the people you know, ar e there some whom you definitely do not like? Yes No 21. Would you say that you were fairly selfconfident? Yes No 22. Do you find it hard to really enjoy yourself at a lively party? Yes No 23. Do you sometimes talk about things you know nothing about? Y es No 24. Do you like playing pranks on others? Yes No 25. Do you suffer from sleeplessness?
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 66 Yes No Morningness Eveningness Scale The following are different hypothetical scenarios. Read each question carefully, and select the answer that would most appropriately describe how you would react. 1. For some reason you have gone to bed several hours later than normal, but there is no need to get up at a particular time the next morning. Which of the following is most likely to occur? I will wake up at th e usual time and not fall asleep again I will wake up at the usual time and doze thereafter I will wake up at the usual time but will fall asleep again I will wake up later than usual 2. A friend has asked you to join him twice a week for a workout in the gym. The best time for him is between 10pm 11pm. Bearing nothing else in mind other than how you normally feel in the evening, how do you think you would perform? Very well Reasonably well Poorly Very poorly 3. One hears about 'morning' and 'evening' typ es of people. Which of these types do you consider yourself to be ? Definitely morning type More a morning than an evening type More an evening than a morning type Definitely an evening type Big Five Personality Inventory Here are a number of characteris tics that may or may not apply to you. For example, do you agree that you are someone who likes to spend time with others? Please write a number next to each statement to indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with that statement. Disagree Stro ngly Disagree a little Neither agree or disagree Agree a little Agree Strongly 1 2 3 4 5 I am someone who... 1. Is talkative
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 67 2. Tends to find fault with others 3. Does a thorough job 4. Is depressed, blue 5. Is original, comes up with new ideas 6. Is reserved 7. Is helpful and unselfish with others 8. Can be somewhat careless 9. Is relaxed, handles stress well. 10. Is full of energy 11. Starts quarrels with others 12. Is a reliable worker 13. Can be tense 14. Is ingenious, a deep thinker 15. Gener ates a lot of enthusiasm 16. Has a forgiving nature 17. Tends to be disorganized 18. Worries a lot 19. Has an active imagination 20. Tends to be quiet 21. Is generally trusting 22. Has a high self esteem The Experiences in Close Relationships Revised (ECR R) Questionnaire The statements below concern how you feel in emotionally intimate relationships, or friendships. We are interested in how you generally experience relationships, not just in what is happening in a current relationship. Respond to eac h statement by indicating how much you agree or disagree with the statement. Strongly Disagree Disagree Slightly Disagree Neither Disagree or Agree Slightly Agree Agree Strongly Agree 1. I'm afraid that I will lose the love of others. 2. I am very c omfortable being close to others.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 68 3. I often worry that my partners or friends don't really love me. 4. I get uncomfortable when another person wants to be very close. 5. I worry a lot about my relationships. 6. I find it relatively easy to get close to ot hers. 7. I often worry that others will not want to stay with me. 8. When I show my feelings for others, I'm afraid they will not feel the same about me. 9. I rarely worry about others leaving me. 10. My partners or friends make me doubt myself. 11. I do n ot often worry about being abandoned. 12. I find that others don't want to get as close as I would like. 13. Sometimes my friends and romantic partners change their feelings about me for no apparent reason. 14. My desire to be very close sometimes scares p eople away. 15. I'm afraid that once someone gets to know me, he or she won't like who I really am. 16. It makes me mad that I don't get the affection and support I need from other people. 17. I worry that I won't measure up to other people. 18. I prefer n ot to show others how I feel deep down. 19. I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on other people. 20. I don't feel comfortable opening up to others. 21. I usually discuss my problems and concerns with my partner or my friends. 22. I am nervous whe n others get too close to me. 23. I feel comfortable depending on other people. 24. It's easy for me to be affectionate with others. Post Manipulation Surveys State Traits Personality Inventory Five sample items DIRECTIONS: A number of statements which p eople have used to describe themselves are given below. Read each statement and then circle the appropriate number to the right of the statement to indicate how you feel right now, that is, at this moment There are no right or wrong answers. Do not spend too much time on any one statement but give the answer which seems to describe your present feelings Not at all Somewhat Moderately so Very much so 1 2 3 4
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 69 I am in a questioning mood ..................................................................... .. 1 2 3 4 I feel curious............................................................................................... 1 2 3 4 I feel like exploring my environment ......................................................... 1 2 3 4 I feel disinterested.... .................................................................................. 1 2 3 4 I feel mentally active.................................................................................. 1 2 3 4 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Heatherton & Polivey State Self esteem Scale This is a questionnaire designed to measure what you are thinking at this moment. There is, of course, no right answer for any statement. The best answer is what you feel is true of yourself at the moment. Be sure to answer all of the items, even if you are not certain of the best answer. Again, answer these questions as they are true for you RIGHT NOW 1 Not at all 2 A little bit 3 Somewhat 4 Very much 5 E xtremely 1. I feel confident about my abilities. 1 2 3 4 5 2. I am worried about whether I am regarded as a success or failure. 1 2 3 4 5 3. I feel satisfied with the way my body looks right now. 1 2 3 4 5 4. I feel frustrated o r rattled about my performance. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I feel that I am having trouble understanding things that I read. 1 2 3 4 5 6. I feel that others respect and admire me. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I am dissatisfied with my weight. 1 2 3 4 5
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 70 8 I feel self conscious. 1 2 3 4 5 9. I feel as smart as others. 1 2 3 4 5 10. I feel displeased with myself. 1 2 3 4 5 11. I feel good about myself. 1 2 3 4 5 12. I am pleased with my appearance right now. 1 2 3 4 5 13. I am worried about what other people think of me. 1 2 3 4 5 14. I feel confident that I understand things. 1 2 3 4 5 15. I feel inferior to others at this moment. 1 2 3 4 5 16. I feel unattractive. 1 2 3 4 5 17. I feel concerned about the impression I am making. 1 2 3 4 5 18. I feel that I have less scholastic ability right now than others. 1 2 3 4 5 19. I feel like I'm not doing well.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 71 1 2 3 4 5 20. I am worried about looking foolish. 1 2 3 4 5 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Self compassion Scale Below are a series of statements dealing with how you typically act toward yourself in difficult times. To the left of ea ch item, indicate how often you behave in the stated manner. Almost Almost never always 1 2 3 4 5 _____ 1. I'm disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequaci es. _____ 2. When I'm feeling down I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that's wrong. _____ 3. When things are going badly for me, I see the difficulties as part of life that everyone goes through. _____ 4. When I think about my inadequacies, it te nds to make me feel more separate and cut off from the rest of the world. _____ 5. I try to be loving towards myself when I'm feeling emotional pain. _____ 6. When I fail at something important to me I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy. _____ 7. When I'm down and out, I remind myself that there are lots of other people in the world feeling like I am. _____ 8. When times are really difficult, I tend to be tough on myself. _____ 9. When something upsets me I try to keep my emotions in balance. ____ 10. When I feel inadequate in some way, I try to remind myself that feelings of inadequacy are shared by most people. _____ 11. I'm intolerant and impatient towards those aspects of my personality I don't like. _____ 12. When I'm going through a ver y hard time, I give myself the caring and tenderness I need. _____ 13. When I'm feeling down, I tend to feel like most other people are probably happier than I am. _____ 14. When something painful happens I try to take a balanced view of the situation. _____ 15. I try to see my failings as part of the human condition. _____ 16. When I see aspects of myself that I don't like, I get down on myself. _____ 17. When I fail at something important to me I try to keep things in perspective.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 72 _____ 18. When I' m really struggling, I tend to feel like other people must be having an easier time of it. _____ 19. I'm kind to myself when I'm experiencing suffering. _____ 20. When something upsets me I get carried away with my feelings. _____ 21. I can be a bit col d hearted towards myself when I'm experiencing suffering. _____ 22. When I'm feeling down I try to approach my feelings with curiosity and openness. _____ 23. I'm tolerant of my own flaws and inadequacies. _____ 24. When something painful happens I tend to blow the incident out of proportion. _____ 25. When I fail at something that's important to me, I tend to feel alone in my failure. _____ 26. I try to be understanding and patient towards those aspects of my personality I don't like. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Positive and Negative Affect Scale This scale consists of a number of words that describe different feelings and emotions. Read each item and then list the nu mber from the scale below next to each word. Indicate to what extent you feel this way right now, that is, at the present moment _________ 1. Interested _________ 1 1. Irritable _________ 2. Distressed _________ 12. Alert _________ 3. Excited _________ 13. Ashamed _________ 4. Upset _________ 14. Inspired _________ 5. Strong _________ 15. Nervous _________ 6. Guilty _________ 16. Determined ________ 7. Scared _________ 17. Attentive _________ 8. Hostile _________ 18. Jittery _________ 9. Enthusiastic _________ 19. Active _________ 10. Proud _________ 20. Afraid 1 2 3 4 5 Very Slightly or Not at All A Little Moderately Quite a Bit Extremely
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 73 Behavioral curiosity measure. The following is a reading task consist ing of passages from the book, Breaking the Maya Code, by Michael D. Coe. Each passage will have one written passage on it. Press the f' key to move forward through the pages. If you wish to continue press the f' key. You may stop at any time. There are many more than a thousand languages in the world: not counting dialects, the usual estimate is between 2,500 and 4,000. To a linguist, languages are mutually unintelligible communication systems. Each language is made up of dialects that are mutually intelligible, although sometimes with difficulty. Now, this word "dialect" has been badly manhandled in public press and popular usage. The worst example of this relates to the various tongues spoken in China, such as Mandarin, Shanghai, and Cantonese: t hese are quite mistakenly called "dialects." Although closely related tongues, spoken Mandarin is quite incomprehensible to a Cantonese speaking taxi driver in Hong Kong as Dutch would be his counterpart in New York. On the lowest level of analysis, a la nguage consists of a set of sounds; the study of these is called "phonetics" or "phonology" as fans of Shaw's Pygmalion will recall. The phoneme is defined as the smallest unit of distinctive sound in spoken language. To illustrate this, let us take the hackneyed example of three English words pin, bin, and spin. The bilabial stop, or the consonant at the beginning of pin is clearly different from that of bin, and the meaning changes depending on which is used. Thus p and b are separate phonemes. On the o ther hand the p in spin and the p in pin actually sound different to the trained phonetician; but it its clear that from their distribution that they vary according to their environment (that is, the neighboring sounds), and are thus members of one and the same phoneme. As anyone who has had to learn Latin or French can testify, languages not only consist of meaningful sound patterns, or pronunciation, they also have a grammar: the rules by which words and sentences are put together. Morphology deals with the internal structure of words, and syntax is the relations between words in a sentence structure. The smallest meaningful unit of speech is the morpheme, consisting of one or more phonemes. Consider the English word incredible: in cred and ible ar e the morphemes of which it is made up. Or the word trees, which can be morphologically analyzed into the basic noun tree and the plural s. Agglutinative languages string together successive morphemes, each with a single grammatical function, into the body of single words. Turkish is an example of this, with ever more complex words being built up like a train in a railroad yard from a root (the locomotive) followed by a string of suffixes (the carriages). For instance that word evlerda, meaning "to the houses," can be broken down into ev, "house"; ler, the plural suffix; and da, the dative suffix. Nahuatl, the lingua franca of the Aztec Empire, is another example: take the word sentence nimitztlazohtla, constructed from ni "I," mitz, "you" (object), tlazohtla, unpluralized verb root "to love" "I love you!"
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 74 Inflectional languages change the form of a word to mark all kinds of grammatical distinctions, such as tense, person (singular, plural, etc.), gender, mood, voice, and case. The Indo European languages tend to be highly inflectional. Indo European is unusual among the language families of the world in the prominent place it gives to gender distinctions; languages that insist not only on giving the sex of those referred to in pronouns, but also on jamming all nouns into such unreal categories as masculine, feminine, and even neuter are rare or un heard of elsewhere. Sexism of this kind is unknown is Aztec and Mayan languages. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque Smalt (1783 1840) is one of those pe ople on whom there never was, is not now, and never will be, agreement. Not even those who knew him well could agree on what he looked like, whether he was tall or short, bald or had a full head of hair, whether he was corpulent or thin, and so on. The only reasonably accurate portrait of him appears in the engraved frontispiece of his Analyse de la Nature, brought out in Palermo, Sicily, in 1815; there he is a side burned little man with dark hair brushed down over his forehead in the fashion of the tim es. Born to a French father and a German mother in Galata, Turkey, just across the Great Horn from Constantinople, Rafinesque showed early aptitude as a naturalist, and arrived in the United States on this pursuit in 1802. Returning to Europe in 1805, h e spent the next ten years in Sicily, where he made lasting contributions to the study of Mediterranean fish and mollusks. Then, back he went to the United States, where he passed the rest of his life. Sadly, he died a pauper in Philadelphia, so indebted to his creditors that his landlord tried to sell his cadaver to a medical school to settle his debt. Set in the lower foothills of the Sierra de Chiapas, and surrounded by high, tropical forest, the classic Maya city of Palenque occupies a commanding pos ition looking north over the great Usumacinta plain. By some time early in the seventh century, its architects had learned how to span large airy rooms with lightly built vaults and mansard roofs, giving the city's structure a spaciousness that is missing in the massively constructed palaces and temples of other Maya sites. And under the aegis of its two greatest kings, Palenque artists reached new heights of elegance in carved relief and molded stucco seldom achieved elsewhere in the land of the Maya. F loyd Lonsbury's interest in languages began early, for as he says, "coming off a farm in Wisconsin, in an atmosphere that really belonged to a century ago, I had the notion that you weren't really educated unless you could read both Greek and Latin." He did take Latin in high school; and studied Greek, too, once he had reached the University of Wisconsin in 1932. Floyd's family was dirt poor, having lost their farm at the start of the Depression; he had borrowed fifty dollars from his high school English teacher to go to the university, and he had hitchhiked all the way to Madison. Born in 1814 in northern France, Abbe Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourberg had early on supported himself as a hack novelist, but after entering the minor orders of the church embarked upon a life of travels and discovery which took him often to Canada, the United States, and Mesoamerica. He acquired an abiding interest in
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 75 Mesoamerican languages and history. In 1855, he had the very good fortune to be assigned by friendly church authorities in Guatemala city as parish priest in Rabinal, a Quiche Maya town in the Guatemala highlands, where he began his studies of the Quiche language; the result of this stay was the Rabinal Achi, an authentic and unique pre Conquest drama which was delivered to him orally by the native informant who had committed it to memory. When Charlemagne was crowned Emperor by the Pope in St. Peter's in Rome, on Christmas Day in the year 800, Maya civilization was at its height: scattered throughout the jun gle covered lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula were more than a dozen brilliant city states, with huge populations, towering temple pyramids and sophisticated royal courts. The arts, scientific learning, and, above all, writing flourished under royal patron age. Maya mathematicians and astronomers scanned the heavens, and tracked the planets as they moved across the background of the stars in the tropical night. Royal scribes devotees of the twin Monkey Man Gods wrote all this down in their bark paper bo oks, and inscribed the deeds of their kings, queens, and princes on stone monuments and walls of their temples and palaces. Only a born optimist might tell you that the Mayan languages are easy to learn; they may be for a Maya toddler, but for those of u s who were brought up with the languages of Europe (even Russia), these are tough for foreigners. One only has to listen to the marketwomen of Merida, capital of Yucatan, or of a town under the volcanoes of Guatemala, to know that Mayan is a very differen t language from what we learned in school. In the first place, these languages sound like nothing we have heard before. They make a very important distinction between glottalized and unglottalized consonants. The latter are pronounced "normally" as we do in English, but when the stop is glottalized, the throat constricted and the sound released like a small explosion. Compared with the languages of the Indo European family, Mayan is fairly gender blind: there really are no masculine, feminine, or neut er constructions in most of the grammar. One and the same pronoun is used for "he," "she," and "it." Nonetheless, male and female personal names and occupational titles are often prefixed by special particles indicating sex. In Yucatec, these are ah for men, and ix for women. Thus, we have our Colonial sources ah dzib "scribe" (= "he of the writing"), and Ix Chel the mother goddess (= "Lady Rainbow"). Once memorably as a "green thumb jutting up into the Gulf of Mexico," the Yucatan Peninsula is a low lying limestone shelf which emerged in the fairly recent geological time from the waters of the Caribbean. Its northern half is extraordinarily flat, the only topographic relief being provided by the Puuc range, low hills arranged in a sort of inverted V across the border between the Mexican states of Yucatan and Campeche. The peninsula is honeycombed by caves, and by sinkholes (called cenotes from the dzonot ) which once were almost the sole source of drinking water in the Northern Maya Area.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 76 One only ha s to deplane at the airport in Merida, Yucatan's major city to know that one is in the tropics coming from the cold north, the first step outside sometimes feels like opening the door of a sauna. Because the Maya realm lies entirely to the south of the Tropic of Cancer, yet considerably to the north of the Equator, there are two strongly marked seasons (neither of them, of course, with snow!). The dry season lasts from the end of November until mid or late May, during which it seldom rains, especially i n the northern half of the peninsula and in the Southern Maya Area. Then, as the month of May nears its end, thunderclouds begin massing each afternoon, and torrential rains begin. It was August 1968, and it was the feast day of Saint Dominic, patron of S anto Domingo Pueblo, southwest of Santa Fe. At one end of the hot, dusty plaza, a Dominican priest watched nervously as several hundred dancers arranged in two long rows pounded the earth with their moccasined feet as a mighty, collective prayer for rain, accompanied by the powerful baritone singing of a chorus and the beats of drums. As my family and I viewed this, the largest and in some ways the most impressive Native American public ceremony, a tiny cloud over the Jemez Mountains to the northwest got larger and larger, eventually filling up the sky; at last the storm broke, and the sky was crisscrossed by lightning, and the pueblo resounded with peals of rolling thunder. Writing books on the supported causes of the collapse of the Maya civilization i s a growth industry among Mayanists. All sorts of hypotheses have been proposed, many of them postulating some kind of agricultural debacle past scholars have thought this resulted from soil depletion through overuse of the land, or from climatic deteri oration, and so forth. Granting that the topic is good for term papers, in the almost total absence of data there is little agreement on what might have caused this immense and certainly tragic demise of one of the world's few tropical forest civilization s. Maya civilization, which reached its peak of achievement in the eighth century, must have contained the seeds of its own downfall. While speculations about why the Maya collapse are plentiful, there are pitifully few facts. As early as the final deca de of the eighth century, a few cites no longer put up carved monuments with Long Count dates, and may well have been at least particularly abandoned. In the ninth century, however, failures of this kind began to multiply, and regime after regime crumbled almost like modern business firms into bankruptcy after a stock market crash. Accurate censuses are a product of the Western world and the Ottoman empire; we certainly have none for the Classic Maya. It is for that reason hat we must take all population estimates for their cities with a large grain of salt. Very conveniently for today's archeologists, the classic Maya built their thatched roof houses on low mounds of earth and masonry, and these can be mapped and counted; having accomplished that, you ha ve to decide how many people might have lived in such a house, and how many of them were occupied at any one time in a given city. "Guesstimates" of how many people lived in the city of Tikal thus vary wildly, all the way from eleven thousand to one hundr ed thousand.
Curiosity, Self esteem, and Self compassion 77 Unlike the Old World, there was never any imperial organization or overall hegemony of one city over the rest among the Classic Maya. Rather, the lowlands were organized into a series of small city states at least twenty five of them in th e eighth century, during the Classic apogee. The distance from any particular to its frontier with another state would seldom be more that a day's walk. Some cities were bigger than others, and certainly had more influence over the development of the May a culture: certainly Tikal, a giant among Maya centers, Copan in the east, Palenque in the west, and Calakmul to the north of the Peten were in this category; and so probably were the very late cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza in the Northern Yucatan Penin sula.