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- Self esteem and the demand for approval in theatrical performers
- Wiltshire, Alexandra Pauline Carroll
- The purpose of the present study was to determine whether there is a relationship between self-esteem, the need for approval and membership of specialised occupational groups in the performing arts. The sample consisted of four groups currently employed as (1) Pit musicians; (2) Onstage Performers (including actors, singers and dancers); (3) a group of financially-oriented workers (consisting of bankers, accountants, and related financial occupations); and (4) members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Subjects completed a 20-minute pencil-and-paper questionnaire which included: a modified version of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Index, the Demand for Approval factor from the Irrational Beliefs Test, the Rosenberg Sensitivity to Criticism scale, the Crowne-Marlowe Social Desirability Scale, and two subscales of the Fenigstein Self-Consciousness scale. It was hypothesised that there would be groups differences in levels of self-esteem, demand for approval and sensitivity to criticism, and that due to the 'socially-sensitive' nature of the variables, a social desirability response and different levels of private and public self-consciousness between groups may affect the results. Without considering possible confounds, very few of the primary hypotheses were statistically significant, most results falling just outside accepted probability levels. A significant negative correlation was found, however, between self-esteem and the demand for approval, corroborating a similar finding by Daly & Burton (1983). Onstage performers and pit musicians had statistically significant higher mean levels of private self-consciousness compared with non-performers. A significant positive correlation was found between self-esteem and social desirability suggesting the confound was affecting the responses. Further interpretation of this response set was carried out using median-split percentage comparisons, due to small cell frequencies preventing further parametric computations. Other significant results included some supplementary findings across the total sample. Those who spent time alone and recall feeling lonely as a child had significantly lower self-esteem levels and higher private self-consciousness levels than their counterparts. Those rating maternal career approval as important had significantly higher mean levels of the demand for approval factor, the private self-consciousness variable and the sensitivity to criticism factor than other subjects. Discriminant validity was evidenced in the lack of a significant correlation between the social desirability variable, often seen as 'a need for approval', and the demand for approval factor .
- Publication type
- Thesis (Grad Dip)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Arts
- Publication year
- Approval factor; Entertainers; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Musicians; Onstage performers; Psychology; Self-consciousness; Self esteem; Sensitivity to criticism; Theatre performers
- Copyright © 1992 Alexandra Pauline Carroll Wiltshire.
- Thesis Supervisor
- [Roger Cook]
- Thesis Note
- [Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Graduate Diploma in Applied Psychology, Swinburne University of Technology, 1992.]
- Additional information
- The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of cast and orchestral members of the Australian stage production of 'The Phantom of the Opera', members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Kim Trengove and associates, and performers at the Australian College of Entertainers for their willingness to participate in this study.
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