Introduction: Self-esteem is one of the most prominent and influential constructs in psychological science, yet very few neuropsychological/neuroscientific investigations have been undertaken in this area of research. The current study investigated the possibility of hemispheric lateralisation of self-esteem. Methods: By creating an auditory version of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) for self-esteem, we were able to present stimuli dichotically and thereby compare left- versus right-hemispheric measurements of self-esteem in 46 healthy adults. Results: Although left- and right-hemispheric self-esteem measurements were correlated, within-participant analysis revealed that self-esteem levels (as reflected by IAT score) were significantly greater when elicited under right-ear presentation (reflecting left-hemispheric processing). Conclusions: We interpret this asymmetry with reference to the approach-withdrawal model of emotion processing and suggest avenues for future research.
- Dichotic listening
- Implicit processing