Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale

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Louise Hay
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Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale

Last update: 10 September, 2019

Self-esteem is closely related to the subjective judgment we formulate about ourselves. A healthy self-esteem, therefore, will always generate great well-being, while at very low levels it can establish a depressive mood in us.

For this reason, it is so important to take care of it and evaluate it, in fact it does not remain fixed, but varies continuously. One of the tools that we can find in psychology and that will help us achieve this is the Rosenberg self-esteem scale.



This ladder is short, fast, reliable and has great validity, so much so that it is one of the tools that psychologists use most to evaluate the self-concept that a subject has of himself.

Rosenberg's self-esteem scale and its implementation

Rosenberg's self-esteem scale owes its name to its creator, Morris Rosenberg, professor and doctor of sociology who has devoted several years of his life to the study of self-esteem and self-concept. He presented his initial proposal for the ladder in his he book Society and the adolescent's self-image.

The Morris Rosenberg scale collects 10 statements that revolve around how much the person values ​​himself, as well as how satisfied he is with himself. The first 5 statements are formulated in positive form, the remaining 5 in negative form.

Each positive statement has a score ranging from 0 (totally disagree) to 3 (totally agree), while negative statements have an inverse score, 3 implies total disagreement and 0 total agreement.

Let's see what these statements are:

  1. I feel I am a person worthy of appreciation, at least on a par with others.
  2. I feel I have positive qualities.
  3. In general, I tend to think that I am a failure.
  4. I am capable of doing things well like most people.
  5. I feel I don't have much reason to be proud.
  6. I adopt a positive attitude towards myself.
  7. Overall I feel satisfied with myself.
  8. I would like to have more respect for myself.
  9. Sometimes I feel useless.
  10. Sometimes I think I am useless.

The positive statements (1,2,4,6,7) and the negative ones (3,5,8,9,10) are mixed together and the result of their score allows us to get an idea of ​​how the state is self-esteem of the person who responds. In this sense, a score below 15 would indicate very low self-esteem, suggesting it as an aspect to work on.  



Between 15 and 25 points we would find ourselves in front of a healthy self-esteem and that enters the parameters of what is considered "balanced". A score greater than 25 would tell us about a strong and solid person. In this sense, such a high score could also indicate problems in analyzing reality or people who are too complacent with themselves. The ideal score should be between 14 and 25 points.

The most relevant discoveries of the Rosenberg self-esteem scale

Rosenberg's self-esteem scale, although initially intended for teenagers only, was later adapted to adults. This allowed us to evaluate entire populations and even different cultures, which allowed us to obtain very interesting discoveries.

One of these revealed that people living in individualistic societies, for example in the United States, feel more competent, but less satisfied with themselves. The same does not happen in places like Japan, where a collectivism manifests itself in which satisfaction with oneself is higher, even if the feeling of competence declines a lot.

The scale also revealed that extroverted and more emotionally stable people enjoy higher self-esteem, while those introverted and emotionally unstable would have a tendency to present poor self-esteem.

Despite all these findings, Rosenberg's self-esteem scale revealed that in general all people, both men and women, young or adult, tend to evaluate themselves in a positive way. Although the question arises as to whether this is so because many people are embarrassed to admit their flaws, what makes them feel bad or because they are unable to recognize it.


The Rosenberg scale survives to the present day to provide a solution to a common difficulty in psychology, that of measuring certain variables that affect our conduct, our thoughts and our emotions. Its formulation and its survival reminds us how important it is to monitor our self-esteem, take care of it and make sure that it is always at a level that makes us feel better, not worse. Healthy self-esteem is one of the pillars of well-being and, at the same time, the key to being happy and feeling comfortable in the different areas of our life.


Ready to rate these phrases and find out how much you value yourself?

Images courtesy of Kathrin Honesta

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