The rosy glow of self‐esteem: Depression, masculinity, and causal attributions

N. T. Feather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have suggested that depressed people are less susceptible than nondepressed people to a number of cognitive biases that imply a “rosy glow” view of positive and negative events. The present study tested the hypothesis that the rosy glow effect as related to attribution behaviour depends upon positive self‐esteem. Using data from two samples it was found that subjects who were either low in depression, high in masculinity, or high in self‐esteem tended to rate the causes of positive or good events as more internal, stable, and global than the causes of negative or bad events. These differences were less pronounced for subjects who were either high in depression, low in masculinity, or low in self‐esteem. The results of multiple regression analyses also showed that global self‐esteem was a consistent predictor of attributions for both positive and negative events. Internal, stable, and global causal attributions were more likely to occur for important events than for unimportant events, especially when these events were positive. These findings were discussed in terms of a balance model and in relation to past experience that might shape relationships between self‐esteem, generalized expectancies, and consistent modes of attribution. 1987 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-41
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1987


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