Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 8, Iss. 4, October, 2004, pp. 479-510
@2004 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


The Fractal Dynamics of Self-Esteem and Physical Self

Didier Delignieres, University of Montpellier I, France
Marina Fortes, University of Montpellier I, France
Gregory Ninot, University of Montpellier I, France

Abstract: The aim of this paper was to determine whether fractal processes underlie the dynamics of self-esteem and physical self. Twice a day for 512 consecutive days, four adults completed a brief inventory measuring six subjective dimensions: global self-esteem, physical self-worth, physical condition, sport competence, attractive body, and physical strength. The obtained series were submitted to spectral analysis, which allowed their classification as fractional Brownian motions. Three fractal analysis methods (Rescaled Range analysis, Dispersional analysis, and Scaled Windowed Variance analysis) were then applied on the series. These analyses yielded convergent results and evidenced long-range correlation in the series. The self-esteem and physical self series appeared as anti-persistent fractional Brownian motions, with a mean Hurst exponent of 0.21. These results reinforce the conception of self-perception as the emergent product of a dynamical system composed of multiple interacting elements.

Keywords: self-esteem, physical self, time series analysis, fractal processes