Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale


Developed by Dr. Morris Rosenberg, the scale is a self-esteem measure widely used in Social Science research.  The RSES is a ten-item Likert type scale with items answered on a four-point scale, from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.  Five of the items have positively worded statements and five have negatively worded ones. The scale measures state self-esteem by asking the respondents to reflect on their current feelings.


Administration Method
Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Dr. Morris Rosenberg was professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland from 1975 until his death in 1992.

He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1953, and held a variety of positions, including at Cornell University and the National Institute of Mental Health, prior to coming to Maryland. Dr. Rosenberg is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, and his work on the self-concept, particularly the dimension of self-esteem, is world-renowned.
Scoring / Benchmarking
While designed as a Guttman scale, the SES is now commonly scored as a Likert scale. The 10 items are answered on a four-point scale, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

To score the items, assign a value to each of the 10 items as follows:

For items 1,2,4,6,7: Strongly Agree=3, Agree=2, Disagree=1, and Strongly Disagree=0.

For items 3,5,8,9,10 (which are reversed in valence, and noted with the asterisks** below): Strongly Agree=0, Agree=1, Disagree=2, and Strongly Disagree=3.

The scale ranges from 0-30, with 30 indicating the highest score possible. Other scoring options are possible. For example, you can assign values 1-4 rather than 0-3; then scores will range from 10-40. Some researchers use 5- or 7-point Likert scales, and again, scale ranges would vary based on the addition of "middle" categories of agreement.
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