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PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 The Looking Glass Self The notion that people learn about themselves from other people. But if we learned everything about ourselves from other people, then there wouldn’t be a difference between what you thought about yourself and what others thought about you. But this is not the case. There is also introspection… Rate the degree to which… Introspection. It is expected that we have the ability to look inside ourselves, and to try to rate ourselves as accurately as possible. Looking inside yourself = introspection. Sources of the Self Concept One of the things that research has suggested is that our concepts of self has a huge impact on how we will be behaving and the types of goals that we will be able to achieve. Maybe if you have a negative self-concept, you feel like you don’t have the means to achieve goals; so you won’t even try. Learned Helplessness When an organism keeps getting exposed to uncontrolled events, the organism learns that it has no control about the outcomes of certain situations. If you believe that you have no control, you will not have the motivation to try and achieve certain ends. For example, taking an exam on things never covered. You won’t have any motivation to study if it won’t help the outcome. Siligman’s theory came from his experiments where he exposed animals to uncontrolled situations. Random Shock to Floor Grid Example of experiment: there would be two dogs in a cage with a floor grid. The dogs would be shocked at random. However, one of the dogs has a bar that could turn it off. Therefore one dog feels that he or she has control over the situation. Even though the shock is the same, it is the perception of control that is different. Seligman found that just that perception factor has a dramatic impact on mood as well as future behaviour. This evolved the learned helplessness theory of depression as well. One thing that he found was that (in another experiment, where they could jump to a safety side) the dogs that learned to have control (the bar) learned the task to jump to safety, but very few of the ‘uncontrollable situation’ dogs would learn it. Self-Efficacy It is related to helplessness; when you are thinking of any desired outcome, the confidence that you have in your ability to achieve it will be a primary source of your motivation to achieve it. Confidence is aka “outcome expectancy” in this case. So the more confident you are, the more you will work on it. Self-Discrepancy You will have a mental representation of the self, but you might also have an idea of what we would like to be ideally. The greater the discrepancy between the ideal self and the actual self, the more problems there will be. Finally, the ought self is how you should be. It is a self constructed from growing up in your family, where your parents teach you certain things. There are reprocussions to not being close to your ought self as well. What am I all about? and Next Slide Today if we would make a statement about the examined vs. unexamined life (see slide). The more we think about the self, the more likely it is that we will identify discrepancies between the ideal/ought self, and these discrepancies will have a negative impact on your mood. It is not common to stumble upon amazing things about yourself. Next Slide Things that make you self aware (eg: mirror in experiments, having an audience), the more it will interfere with how you act. So things that increase your self-awareness will also increase your awareness of self-discrepancies. Self-discrepancies will make you feel unpleasant, and then you can do one of two things. When you are aware of the self- discrepancy, you can say that you need to do something about it to reduce the discrepancy (motivates you to make changes about your behaviour). But if you don’t think that you can affect things, you might try to escape from self-awareness (try to prevent introspection; drinking, etc.). Overeating can also be an escape from self-awareness. Self-Awareness Thought that there are two types of self-awareness. (2) Number of studies conducted that indicate that if you are put in a room, and they say that you need to work on as many puzzles as possible, and you will be judged on how many you do, and when the buzzer goes off, you need to stop. But the investigator does not come back right away; do you stop working when the buzzer goes off? A lot of people keep working. But if you put a mirror in front during the task, you are more likely to stop; this is self- awareness. Another study; children trick or treating. In one house, there was an open door and a barrel of candy, and a sign that says “please take only one”. Children tend to take more. But if there is a mirror on top of the barrel, the children were less likely to be opportunistic. Self Knowledge Dan Gilbert was interested in this; it is hard to determine how accurate self-judgments are. You can’t use other people to gauge if you are telling the truth; they may not know you as well. What he did was to ask people to predict how well they would do in a future study. Forecasting This is emotional forecasting. How would you feel? For the most part, we will tend to over estimate. So we do not seem to be all that accurate about these types of predictions. So we have self-knowledge, and there is probably some accuracy associated with our self concept. But there are also a lot of inaccuracies. Sometimes we also bias our self-knowledge in a way to protect our self-esteem. Self-Protection We are always exposed to situations that might affect our self-esteem. Next Slide Success and achievement experiences makes your self-esteem more robust and impervious to future blows. The opposite happens with a system of failures. If you are a fan of a certain sports team, by aligning yourself with that team, when they do well, you feel good. BIRGing This is the phenomena. You invest some of your identity in the team, and you feel good when they do well. Social Comparison We tend to compare our performance to other individuals. This could have a positive or negative impact on how we feel about ourselves. When you expose yourself to situations whe
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