Self-Sufficiency Research - Can You Help?
What is Self-Sufficiency in a psychological sense? Is it an important factor in well-being? Help me find out by filling out this short questionnaire
I’m Dr. Steve Taylor, a psychologist at Leeds Metropolitan University and the author of several books on psychology and spirituality. I would like to enlist the help of Psychologies readers with some research I’m doing. This is on the subject of ‘self-sufficiency’, in a psychological sense.
I don’t want to explain too much about the research, because it might affect the way you respond to the questionnaire. But it partly grew out of an article I wrote in Psychologies about three years ago, about how we can make ourselves less vulnerable to feeling disrespected by other people. We all feel ‘slighted’ from time to time. Typical slights include not being invited to a party which everyone else you know is going to; giving a person a lift or a meal and not being thanked in return; being passed over for promotion.
I began to investigate the concept of ‘self-sufficiency’ when it occurred to me that high ‘self-esteem’ can make people more vulnerable to slights. Although high self-esteem is usually seen as a positive thing, it has a negative side too. When self-esteem is fragile, it can be dangerous. One of the reasons why alcohol is so strongly linked to crime is because of its ‘self-inflating’ effect – it makes people feel more special and important, and so increases their sensitivity to slights.
This suggests to me that there is a further aspect of the self which needs to be considered, one which is implied but not fully embraced by the concepts of ‘secure’ and ‘insecure’ self-esteem. This is the concept of self-sufficiency. Self-esteem becomes secure and stable when it is underpinned by self-sufficiency.
The purpose of the research is to develop a test which measures ‘self-sufficiency’, and also to find out if self-sufficiency is linked to other factors, such as age, gender or happiness. I’ll explain more when the results of the questionnaire are in!
It’s a very simple questionnaire with around 20 short questions. It should only take you 5 minutes or so (at the most) to complete. It is completely anonymous and voluntary. No personal details are involved, and you are free to stop at any point. If you would like further information, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
The questionnaire is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JN2G2PY
Thanks in advance for your help!