Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scary stuff seems bigger when self-esteem is low

Posted by Carla Cantor

RUTGERS (US) — For people with high self-esteem, hills literally seem less steep and scary objects less threatening.

But people who have fewer social resources, such as friends and family, see challenging objects and events in a more exaggerated way, according to new research.

“Those with fewer friends, with lower self-esteem, and with less opportunity to disclose their emotions tend to visually amplify threats,” says Kent Harber, associate professor of psychology at Rutgers-Newark. “Their perceptions are exaggerated, and disturbing things appear higher, closer, of greater duration, or more intense than they actually are.”

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