James' Personality Theory

William James
William James, a renowned American psychologist, developed a theory of self consciousness in his work ,
Principles of Psychology, which was published in 1890. James discusses the composition of what makes the Self, and breaks it down into "I" and "Me" and explaining the differences and importance of each. The "Me" is explained as being the material, social, and spiritual components of the ego. The theory also details self esteem describing it as the ratio of an individual's actual behavior in contrast to their pretensions.

self esteem
Self Esteem
James describes self esteem as how we view our self image, and whether or not we approve of it. The idea of self esteem is defined by our concepts and how well we like ourselves. It also links in with our inner values which define our ego that was mentioned before. The self image is further described as being our social roles, body image, and personality traits. 

The way that self esteem is derived is by measuring the gap between the ideal self and the self image. The ideal self is a person's concept of what the perfect person should be, as well as what they see as their full potential (usually a potential that cannot be achieved). This ideal self may be close to a person's self image, which would mean that this person has a high self esteem. The greater the difference between someones self image and ideal self, the lower the resulting self esteem. 

Self-Seeking.Bodily Appetites and Instincts
Love of Adornment, Foppery,
Love of Home, etc.
Desire to please, be noticed,
admired, etc.
Sociability, Emulation, Envy,
Love, Pursuit of Honor,
Ambition, etc.
Intellectual, Moral and Reli -
gious Aspiration,
Self-EstimationPersonal Vanity, Modesty, etc.
Pride of Wealth, Fear of Poverty
Social and Family Pride,
Vainglory, Snobbery,
Humility, Shame, etc.
Sense of Moral or Mental
Superiority, Purity, etc.
Sense of Inferiority or of Guilt


The "Me" is a component of the self that is broken down into the Material, Social, and Spiritual. Each of these is then broken down into Self-Seeking  and Self Estimation. The material aspect encompasses every material thing that a person values and desires. The attainment of these materials can help someone build up their self image. The social component is important because it highlights a persons position in society. This is an aspect of The self image that is often underestimated. However a person's role in society can often work to shift their self esteem in either way. Finally the Spiritual "me" is the hardest to fully understand. It basically states that a persons values and morals combined with intellect can build play a role in their self image and the "me"