Washington: A study has found that college students prefer self-esteem over sex, money and other indulgent activities like food and alcohol.
"It is somewhat surprising how this desire to feel worthy and valuable trumps almost any other pleasant activity you can imagine," said Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at the Ohio State University, who led the study.
Bushman conducted the research with Scott Moeller of Brookhaven National Lab and Jennifer Crocker, professor of psychology at Ohio State University, according to its statement.
In two separate studies, researchers asked college students how much they wanted and liked various pleasant activities, including sex, their favourite food or seeing a best friend, reports the Journal of Personality.
They were asked to rate how much they wanted and liked each activity on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (extremely). One of the items they were asked about was self-esteem building experiences, such as receiving a good grade or receiving a compliment.
"We found that self-esteem trumped all other rewards in the minds of these college students," Bushman said.
"American society seems to believe that self-esteem is the cure all for every social ill, from bad grades to teen pregnancies to violence," he said.