The relationship between self-confidence in the work place and socio-economic status

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The relationship between self-confidence in the work place and socio-economic status

Category: Culture

Subcategory: Dissertation discussion

Level: Masters

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

According to Vealey (Cited in Rabaz, Castuera, Arias, Echeverrίa, & Arroyo, 2014, p. 682), self-confidence refers to the beliefs and levels of a surety that individuals possess about the successful execution of a particular task. Unfortunately, there are no studies that have examined this aspect about socio-economic status in the workplace, but there is too much talk about how one’s socio-economic status influences an individual’s self-confidence especially when he or she is in a group of the elites. On a different note, there is an adequate focus on self-esteem, which stems from one’s self-confidence. Thereby, this literature review strives to provide insight into the current scientific position on the relationship between self-confidence and socio-economic status by equating self-confidence to self-esteem. Even though the two are different, they have a direct relationship and self-esteem can act as a guide for the current study.

The Role of Motivation in Self-confidence

The synergy between self-confidence and socio-economic status can only prevail when one’s socio-economic status is the main motivating factor, and this is not always the case; hence, there will need to examine the role of moderating factors as discussed herein (Twenge & Campbell, 2002). Some individuals are from poor socio-economic backgrounds, for example, the blacks. However, their socio-economic status does not limit their abilities and the hope of rising above their deplorable situation as indicated by Bénabou and Tirole (2001). Self-confidence gives rise to the intrinsic motivation which thrives more compared to extrinsic motivation that is short-lived and does not yield the anticipated benefits. One’s socio-economic power tends to boost one’s self-confidence because one’s socio-economic status determines whether he or she can access the needed resources to influence others or pursue a certain activity. Most of the studies on motivation have largely focused on students, yet, even in the workplace motivation to work is necessary. According to Twenge and Campbell (2002), the salience model indicates that socio-economic status differs about the population. The relationship between socio-economic status and self-confidence is different across different age groups; socio-economic status in relation to money is vital to middle-aged adults, whose careers are at the peak.
Other than education, there has always been inequality in the workplace by gender and race. However, this has changed, and it is important to understand the current distribution of employees on the basis of gender and race to understand how these attributes influence the employees’ level of self-confidence, and ultimately, their motivation and self-esteem. The current study will extend current researches by incorporating the element of self-confidence to affirm the proposed link between self-confidence and motivation.
Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Apparently, there seems to be no specific focus on self-confidence, but there is adequate attention on self-esteem, which is the value that one attaches to oneself (Twenge & Campbell, 2002). Most of the studies on self-esteem have incorporated moderating factors like religiosity, and this further justifies the need for this study. Hence, when one believes in their capability to accomplish a certain task: self-confidence, his or her self-esteem increases, and the converse is also true. The relationship between self-confidence and socio-economic status seems to be a precedent in determining an individual’s self-esteem as indicated by Meškauskienė (2013). Thereby, this study will examine a factor that precedes self-esteem, and one that is rarely studied but one which has a direct relationship with self-esteem: self-confidence. Meškauskienė (2013) indicates that her study’s participants considered self-confidence as a significant factor that influences self-esteem. Thereby, this paper will extend current research by providing supplemental information that can be used to augment the findings that show the relationship between self-esteem and socio-economic status. It is also evident that the current empirical evidence on this subject is old, and the current study will provide new insight that is relevant to the 21st century.
Another model used to indicate that socio-economic status does not necessarily result in low self-confidence the self-protective mechanism where individuals on the low socio-economic stratum compare themselves with those who are less fortunate. Sequentially, these individuals preserve their self-esteem and relentlessly work hard to attain their goals in the workplace. Nonetheless, given the fact that beliefs instilled in an individual at childhood stand the tests of time and have a strong influence on an individual’s economic outcomes, an individual in the workplace tends to remain timid as he or she does not believe he or she has what it takes to perform certain functions. According to Twenge and Campbell, this phenomenon can be described as an acquired socio-economic status which has a strong influence on a person’s self-confidence, motivation to execute a certain action, and ultimately, on self-esteem. As a consequence, such an individual is not able to attain economic success and go up the socio-economic stratum.
Previous studies have barely mentioned how self-confidence coexists with self-esteem, but they have not delineated the synergistic relationship that prevails between the two. However, the models proposed by Twenge and Campbell (2002) can help to delineate this relationship better. The reflected appraisal model otherwise referred to as the internalization of stigma model, is in alignment with the current study’s hypothesis because it does not indicate the difference in self-confidence among individuals deemed to belong in the lower socio-economic stratum: the blacks, compared to those in the higher socio-economic stratum: the whites. However, this model might be biased because even within a particular race, there are socio-economic strata. Given lack of adequate scientific literature that indicates how socio-economic status is linked to self-confidence, this literature review will use self-esteem to understand the concept of self-confidence in light to socio-economic status and use the findings from the current study to delineate the relationship holistically. Self-confidence can be regarded as the reason for continued inequality in socioeconomic prosperity as well as an outcome of this inequality. A study by Bénabou and Tirole (2002) indicates that even though self-confidence is desirable, having too much of it can yield negative consequences, and since having low self-confidence is also not good, but having the needed self-confidence to achieve set goals yields positive returns.
Among the few studies on self-confidence, Filippin and Paccagnella (2012) showed that one’s socio-economic background is a predictor of his or her self-confidence and associated abilities. Thereby, an individual might not reach his or her potential due to thwarted self-confidence. This study further showed that the influence of socio-economic background could be used to explain the persistent poor economic outcomes, for example, education achievement and family income across generations due to a negative effect on one’s cognitive skills. Subsequently, individuals are not able to overcome their shortcomings. Filippini’s and Pascarella’s study examined the how family background, self-confidence, and economic outcomes relate to each other while the current study adopts a similar approach but instead of examining family background, it will examine socio-economic status. Also, instead of economic outcomes, the current study will look at self-authentic confidence.
Filippin and Paccagnella (2012) state that when individuals grow up in poor socio-economic environments, they grow up without knowing their abilities or with wrong beliefs. These authors highlight an example of a job seeker who tends to give up the search as he or she is not aware of his self-confidence, and tends to give up easily. Similarly, a person who is not aware of his or her abilities is deemed to have low performance in the workplace as indicated by a correlation average of 0.38 by Stajkovic and Luthans (1998). This study emphasizes the role of the family and nullifies the role of Bandura’s social learning theory in shaping an individual’s personality as applied to Stankovic’s and Luthans’ study (1998).
Moderating Factors
Age. The relationship between socio-economic status and self-esteem was shown to be influenced by age because the effect size was greatest during middle adulthood and smallest during childhood and late adulthood (Twenge & Campbell, 2002). Children and adolescents are not earning; hence, their socio-economic status can only be viewed as a reflection of that of their parents’, and it may not have a significant effect on them. These findings are not conclusive large correlation effects have been observed among Asian American children. Even though this study does not focus on children and adolescent, it will affirm the large effect size between the socio-economic status and self-confidence among middle-aged adults who are at the peak of their lives about careers and income.
Culture. Individuals in a certain socio-economic stratum have a certain set of believes that cannot be easily influenced by an individual outside this league. These beliefs tend to influence how individuals perceive their capabilities and value themselves, and in Twenge’s and Campbell’s (2002) study, the relationship between self-confidence and socio-economic status was smallest among the Hispanics and largest among the Asian Americans while it was average among the blacks and whites.
Gender and birth. A cross-over effect is observed among men and women with increasing age; men’s self-confidence decrease with age while that of women increase with age due to increasing empowerment. An individual’s year of birth signifies social changes over time, and for this reason, the current research will focus on a particular culture to avoid bias that may stem from variation in social change across different cultures.
In conclusion, it is evident that there is a paucity of scientific information on the link between socio-economic status and self-confidence; hence, the current study is justified. However, the current research has used self-esteem in the review of the literature to comprehend the how socio-economic status is linked to self-confidence based on previous findings that have indicated a direct relationship between self-esteem and self-confidence. Thereby, to ascertain this claim, this study determines the relationship between socio-economic status and self-confidence. Most of the current research in related topics are old, and there is need to come up with up-to-date information. In view of this paper, one’s socio-economic status will not only be monetary form but will also include one’s educational attainment, title and ranking in the workplace, as well as one’s gender, birth cohort, and age.

Bénabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2001). Self-confidence and personal motivation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 871-915.
Filippin, A., & Paccagnella, M. (2012). Family background, self-confidence, and economicoutcomes. Economics of Education Review, 31(5), 824-834.
Meškauskienė, A. (2013). Schoolchild’s self-esteem as a factor influencing motivation tolearn. Procedia- Social and Behavioral Sciences, 83, 900-914.
Rabaz, F. C., Castuera, R. J., Arias, A., G., Echeverrίa, C. F., & Arroyo, M. (2014). Self-confidence, a perception of ability and satisfaction of the basic psychological need ofcompetence in training stages. Procedia- Social and Behavioral Sciences, 132, 682-685.
Stajkovic, A. D. & Luthans, F. (1998) Self-Efficacy and Work-Related Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin. 124 (2), 240–261.
Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2002). Self-esteem and socioeconomic status: A meta-analytic review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6(1), 59-71.

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