Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
How would we define the self?
Images or representations that we want others to have of us
Something that is not necessarily entirely stable; it changes over time
Maybe the idea that there is “a self” is not accurate; there could be multiple selves
(ideal self, public self, etc) and all of those selves could be different
There also seems to be an inner core self; your true self
It is something that all human beings have. How would we know if animals have selves? Dr.
Sullivan says that we need to know that we have a self, to have a self. Being conscious of the
self might be a precondition for a self.
Why would you want to have a self?
At one level, it is thought that it will be important to have a sense that your self belongs to a
certain species. So if you want to reproduce, you will choose someone of the same species.
This is what one of the functions of a self is thought to be. Without the sense of belonging to
a species, it would be difficult for that species to divide.
The function of the self
This is what the authors of the book suggest; that the notion of self may be a very important
component of the ability to develop relationships with other people.
One of the things we know about the self is that we also have certain feelings about the self
(we will think about the self either positively or negatively). We will think about the affect
of our evaluation of the self as self-esteem. People vary greatly in their emotional evaluation
of the self; some people think extremely positively about the self, and some people thing
very negatively. This will have many implications towards your interpersonal life.
An example of one of the scales (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale). Some of the statements are
worded so that agreeing reflects a positive evaluation of the self, and some are opposite.
They are scored in a way that a higher score reflects a higher self-esteem .
This scale has been used in hundreds of studies. Individuals with lower self-esteem are
often associated with adverse health situations. Next Slide
One category of people is people who have personality challenges where their sense of self
is affected. This is the case with individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder;
they often struggle with an absence of a clear sense of who they are. When people have this
difficulty, this is associated with a lot of interpersonal and emotional difficulties.
Multiple personality (aside): it is almost as if there are different roles being played by each
personality. At what point does something become a new personality? What patients are
experiencing is that people stop them on the street and claim to know them, or there are
major periods of time that you cannot remember.
The Self Concept
Questions that you might be asking when you are trying to determine someone’s self
SMART (not in ppt)
Is it a long or a short word?
Does it rhyme with cart?
Does it mean the same as dull?
Does it describe you?
If he were to show us words, and ask one of these questions about the word, and before he
started flashing the words he didn’t tell us that at the end he will ask us to remember all the
words, what will happen is that some of the words will stick out more.
This is self reference; this is the easiest way to remember words. Basically, you will
remember more of the words that you had reflected on whether or not described you (aka:
the ones that that question was asked about).
Video. Someone asks the girl to tell them about herself, and her response talks about a lot of
people in her life instead. One of the prominent categories that distinguishes people in
terms of how they will define themselves is the degree of interdependence that is associ