Profile membership of self-worth contingencies predicts well-being, virtues, and values.


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Historically, researchers have conceptualized self-esteem as global self-evaluation; recently, others have suggested that people are selective about what affects their self-worth. Two studies (N = 1,032) used a person-centered approach to examine how six domains of self-worth contingency associate with well-being, virtue, and value outcomes. Latent profile analyses indicated five distinct profiles. Non-contingents (lowest contingency in all domains) reported good well-being outcomes, low self-transcendence and self-enhancement values, and gave the least in a behavioral measure of generosity. Moral Contingents (high contingency in a moral domain; low contingency in other domains) reported the greatest well-being, purpose/meaning, performance virtues, and prosocial virtues, and high self-transcendence and low self-enhancement values. High Contingents (highest contingency in all domains) reported the worst well-being, second-highest others-focused compassion, and high self-transcendence and self-enhancement values. Medium Contingents (moderate contingency) reported the second-worst ill-being, second-highest purpose, second-highest performance and prosocial virtues, and high self-transcendent and self-enhancement values. Low Contingents reported the lowest purpose and basic needs satisfaction, and high self-enhancement and low self-transcendent values. Implications for optimal self-esteem and values are discussed.