PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Implicit-Association Test, Social Comparison Theory, Mental Chronometry

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PSYC 215 - Lecture #9: Self-Evaluation and Self-Esteem
· When we think about ourselves, we evaluate ourselves:
o We wonder how we're doing
o Are we good or bad?
· This makes us feel ashamed, sad, happy, guilty, anxious etc.
· Emotions related to self-evaluation
· The positive or negative overall evaluation that each person has of him or herself Measurement:
· Evaluative thoughts and feelings about self
· The negative self-esteem linked to many variables
· Self-esteem correlates with many things; when we have negative views about ourselves that
can influence our lives (motivation or de-motivation)
· Self-esteem is a driving issue for people
Trait self-esteem: chronic (overall sense of yourself)
· Self-evaluation questionnaire
· Intended to be the main (reasonably stable) sense of who you are
· But day to day fluctuations exist
State self-esteem: temporary (from moment to moment even)
· Ex. "For each statement below, circle the response that best represents your thoughts RIGHT
· What you are thinking at the moment
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How would we measure implicit self-esteem, or implicit attitudes in general?
· Reaction time testing (relies on automatic processing; captures the automatic tendencies/types
of response)
· Implicit self-esteem: Automatic or non-conscious
· Measured with the Implicit Association Test (IAT)
o Uses reaction times to assess associationsInterference effects (that is, being
slowed down when "self" and "bad things" require the same response) indicate
higher implicit self esteem
§ Difficult to put yourself into a bad category
o Interference comes from automatic processing
Self-evaluation procedures:
· How do we arrive at our self-evaluations?
o Entirely data driven based on a simple consideration of our characteristics, our
successes and failures, etc?
o Is it just an unbiased, accurate observation of our qualities and judgments that are
· There must be more than that; there must be some construal
(1) Comparison with standards
· Self-esteem = successes/pretensions
· "I'm doing well;" compared to what?
· Raised by William James; self-esteem arrived at a calculation involving a standard
· Where do we get these standards from?
· Eg. Social comparison
· We compare with similar, relevant others
· Morse & Gergen (1970)
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