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Lecture 9

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Carleton University
PSYC 2600
Elizabeth Nisbet

Lecture 9 (ch.14) In today’s class... - How do we construct the “Self?” - Shyness - Self-esteem – protecting & enhancing - Self-esteem & selective attention – a training program to reduce selective bias in individuals with low self-esteem From the text... - What are all of the different ways we can think about the self? - How does “self” develop? - How does “self” influence our life experience? - What do we know about shyness? - What is self-esteem variability? - What is identity and how does it develop? What happens when there is conflict? Descriptive Component of the Self: Self-Concept - Self-concept is the basis for self-understanding - Self-concept forms an answer to question, “Who am I?” - Development of the Self-Concept - Shyness: When Objective Self-Awareness Becomes Chronic - Self-Schemata: Possible Selves, Ought Selves, and Undesired Selves Animal self concept - Self-awareness not unique to humans (dolphins, great apes, magpies, elephants) - Animal personality (Sam Gosling) - Animals experience emotion - Animals have a sense of self too. They can feel things like grief Development of the Self-Concept - Age 2-3, identify and associate with themselves according to sex and age (expand- family) - Ages 3-4 - skills and talents - Ages 5-6 – social comparison, private self - Teen years - perspective taking ability, objective self-awareness (beginning of social identity) - Describe things about their family first, then their skills / talents, then compare what they can do to others and start knowing that they have privacy (can keep secrets), then know that other people have different thoughts / feelings and that people will evaluate you Shyness: When Objective Self-Awareness Becomes Chronic - Shy people desire friendships and social interactions but are held back by insecurities and fears - Shy people are not introverts - Kagan’s research - Social anxiety - Worried about what other people think of them; worried about being judged negatively - Apprehension about being evaluated - More brain reactivity to novel faces Self-Schemata: Possible Selves, Ought Selves, and Undesired Selves - Self-schemas: built on past experiences, guide info processing about the self, particularly in social interaction - Possible (future) selves: many ideas each person has about who they might become, hope to become, or fear they will become - Ideal self (what a person herself want to be) versus ought self (person’s understanding of what other’s want her to be) - Ideal and ought selves are self-guides - Helps us understand our past / present / future behaviour - We don’t like people to be unpredictable, we like to know that if a person is ex. funny, then we can always rely on them to be funny - Possible selves can be positive or negative (worried about what we’ll become) - Ideal and ought selves can guide us to opportunities Self-Esteem Evaluation of Oneself - Self-esteem refers to your general evaluation of your self-concept along a good-bad or like-dislike dimension - How we feel about ourselves can vary from day-today, hour-to-hour, but always around some average level of self-esteem - People can evaluate themselves differently in different areas of life or different aspects of self - All our successes / failures give us feedback about ourselves • Help determine how we feel about ourselves - Get information from the environment about how your self-worth is in a particular domain - Have an average level, but can vary up and down • Self-s • Esteem variability  People who go up and down a lot have less satisfaction  Greater stability = greater happiness / well-being (healthy) Research on Self-Esteem: Reactions to criticism and failure feedback - Following failure feedback, low self-esteem people are more likely to perform poorly and to give up earlier on subsequent tasks - For a high self-esteem person, in contrast, failure feedback spurs them into action on subsequent tasks, where they are less likely to give up, and work just as hard as they did on the first task - Self-esteem is a by product of happy lives - Artificially boosting self-esteem won’t have a long term effect on making you feel good - People with low self-esteem tend to give up in more situations, and won’t try as hard if given another task; t
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