chapter  4
27 Pages

Exercise, self-esteem and self-perceptions: Magnus Lindwall

The self-concept may be viewed as ‘the individual as known by the individual’

(Murphy, 1947, p. 996). The self-concept is broad and includes cognitive, affective

and behavioural aspects. It is often used as an umbrella term that includes more

specific concepts such as self-esteem and self-efficacy. Self-esteem, on the other

hand, is viewed as a narrower, evaluative component of the self (Byrne, 1996;

Harter, 1996). R. N. Campbell (1984) defined self-esteem as: ‘the awareness of

good possessed by self ’ (p. 9). The distinction between self-concept and self-esteem

is vital, as they refer to different processes of the self that may have different effects

on the general well-being and behaviour of the individual. In this context, self-

concept may, at the individual level, be viewed as a descriptive or cognitive compo-

nent (i.e. ‘who am I?’), whereas self-esteem is the evaluative or affective component,

answering the question: ‘how do I feel about who I am?’ (J. N. Campbell et al.,

1996). However, the self-descriptive and self-evaluative processes of the self are

inexorably intertwined and are often used interchangeably in research because it is

difficult to describe the self without linking it to affect and evaluation (Byrne, 1996;

Sonstroem, 1997a).