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Lecture 10

PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Mark Leary, Social Class, Unconditionally

Course Code
PSYC 215
Mark Baldwin

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PSYC 215 181004
Lecture 10: Complexities of Insecure Self-Esteem
What is the basis for self-evaluation? Why do we do it?
Evaluation = expectancy-value approach: expectancy x value
o Ex. = evaluation of a car
Car goes fast x I want to go fast = positive evaluation
o we calculate to what extent something is valuable
Motivation, values, goals, underline self-evaluations
o Evolutionary analysis natural selection
Through successive generations, the stuff that worked in the past get
‘wired in’ so we’re more likely to have those characteristics
Humans might have a ‘wired in’ need for self-esteem
o unsatisfactory
Other motives must exist
Some possible underpinnings of Self-Esteem Motive:
1) Mastery
Self-esteem = knowing you’re good at things and that you can get things done
o We feel good if we do something well/competently
Evolutionary explanation
o Could be that ancestors who found it reinforcing to learn and master
something who were more likely to survive
Positive self-esteem comes from us thinking about ourselves and answering ‘yes’
to questions of “am I good at something”
Not the entire story, though
2) Social Sources
People are social beings so if we are perceived well by others and are included in
a group, more likely to have survived and reproduce
A) Social rank = dominant/higher in the social hierarchy leads to positive self-
esteem and feels rewarding
Not entirely mastery since mastery can also involve doing something well alone
while for social rank, you might not be good at anything but just the social rank is
what puts you on top
o Dominant vs. confident separable things
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B) Need to belong = rewarding to feel socially connected to someone
Feels good to feel liked, accepted, connected, wanted, cared for, etc.
Evolutionary explanation
o Those who are more socially connected would have more likely survived and
Key ideas
o i) Sociometer theory Mark Leary
Self-esteem feelings may arise from an evolved system to monitor
social inclusion
We evaluate and analyze how others think about us and if we
think people like and care for us, higher self-esteem
Ex. = ask people their level of self-esteem and how accepted they
feel often a correlation
o ii) Conditional acceptance vs. unconditional acceptance
We think that our acceptance in the world is conditional to other
Ask people how they would feel about themselves if they
possessed a certain trait that is either attributed to something
‘good’ vs. ‘bad’
o Ex. = attractive, rich vs. unattractive, poor
Then ask how they think other people would think of them
with those characteristics
Results = fairly similar answers
o ‘I think the same way about myself as what other
people think about me’
Start to question whether or not you meet certain conditions and
standards that are ‘required’ to belong
3) Internalization
We don’t necessarily have to think about what other people think of us
o We all do it, but they don’t have to be internalized
We use social guides to think about ourselves, but it may be outside of our
awareness what other people actually think about us in that moment
o We presume the perspectives and reactions of other people and take that
as judgement
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