Levels of Self-Confidence
Self-esteem, or self confidence, is a basic human need. A.H. Maslow, a founder of humanistic psychology, studied how our propensity for high or low self-esteem is determined.
He concluded that it is in part determined by our ability to fulfill our other basic needs: physiological, safety and love. Psychologists have since corroborated this theory, and discovered other factors that will affect our self-esteem.
On a global scale, there are general trends among age groups in levels of self-confidence, according to the article “Global Self-Esteem Across the Life Span,” from the journal Psychology and Aging. Children tend begin their childhood with a high self-esteem, and over the course of time it gradually declines.
The decline continues throughout adolescence. In adulthood, self-confidence tends to increases slowly, reaching climax in your mid-60s. In old age there is a sharp decline of self-confidence. Many theories have been proposed to explain these trends, but none are conclusive or comprehensive.
According to the article “Gender and Self Esteem,” from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, gender can play a role in the level of one’s self-confidence. The article argues, “self-esteem is related to fulfilling certain culturally mandated, gender-appropriate norms.”
Women are generally focused on relationships and community building, and men are generally more focused on individuality and personal distinction. Being unable to perform well in these social norms can result in lower self-confidence.
It is widely understood that social stratification leads to disparities in health, education and psychosocial factors. Individuals occupying low social strata tend to have lower self-esteem, because their energies are focused on securing basic physiological needs.
When you have high disposable income you do not worry about basic physiological needs and can therefore focus on higher psychological needs.