Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model

The self-evaluation maintenance (SEM) model of behavior is focused on how the performance of other people influences perception and evaluation of the self. The SEM model emphasizes how another's performance can either influence self-evaluation in a positive or negative way.

People use reflected glory from other people to bolster their image. This occurs when someone feels pride when their alma mater's football team wins a big game or their child wins an award. Evaluation of the self also occurs through comparison of oneself to others. Self-esteem is gained by performing better than someone else. The SEM model also identifies variables that can influence whether or not the effect will be positive or negative to the perception of the self.

Two important and related variables are closeness to the person to whom you are comparing yourself and the relevance of the action itself. If you are comparing yourself to a person very close to you on a factor that is not important to your self concept then it is good for self esteem. For example, if your sibling wins a big award for a sport and you are not competitive in athletics then it will increase your self esteem. If you have close ties to a person who has interest in similar factors then it is more likely your self esteem will suffer if they perform better than you.

For example if your sibling won a sports award and you were a competitive athlete you would use self-evaluation to compare yourself to your sibling and feel a decrease in self-esteem.

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