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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Jan 19.doc

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McGill University
PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

PSYC333 Lecture 4 - Jan. 19 Review: • The organization/structure of self-knowledge • Integration • Differentiation •Self-complexity •Compartmentalization • Personal attribute vs. Social roles Cultural influences on the self-concept • •Working self-concept or core? The Mentally Healthy Person: • Stability • Rationality High self-esteem • • Adaptive • Copes well with stress and adversity • Follows social norms • Realistic about ourselves Close contact with reality/accurate perceptions of reality… • Mental Health & Contact with Reality: • “The perception of reality is called mentally healthy when what the individual per- ceives corresponds to what is actually there” • Johoda, 1958 Psychological health depends on accurate perceptions of reality • • Not entirely surprising given dominant view of people as “naïve scientists” • People gather information in unbiased manner • Process information in logical way • Draw fair accurate inferences • In fact, people actually make a number of systematic errors when gathering and processing information and making judgments: • Heuristics (e.g. Available heuristic) •People think a plane crash is more likely than a car crash because of the media • Biases (FAE) •Fundamental attribution error •Take a person’s behaviour as based on them but not take account of the en- vironmental stimuli • Errors not just about external reality Illusions & Well-being (Taylor & Brown, 1988): • Most people have illusions about the self: • Positively biased self evaluations • Illusions of control • Risk assessment •Unrealistic and overly optimistic • Are most people mentally unwell, or are such illusions adaptive? Self Evaluations: • Positive traits are overwhelmingly more descriptive of the self than negative traits • Positive information about the self and successes are processed more efficiently and recalled better than negative self information and failures • Self serving bias when making causal attributions • Talents are unique, weaknesses are common • But are such favourable self evaluations illusions? • Better than average effect •Can’t look at the individual! • Self ratings >>>> observer ratings Personal Control: • The idea that we have control over our lives is central to most theories of self-es- teem and well being • But control beliefs tend to be greater than what’s justified (i.e., illusory) • Gambling •People believe they have control is situations governed by change (e.g., dice throwing) • “Depressive realism” •People who are more depressed have more realistic expectations of control; re- alize they are more realistic than people who are less depressed Risk Assessment: • Most people are optimistic about the future • Is such optimism (un)realistic? •How likely is it that _____ will happen to you? •How likely is it that _____ will happen to a peer (same age, gender, education level)? •“The future will be great, especially for me” •But again, depressive realism Criteria For Mental Health: • Happiness • Caring for others • Engaging in productive and creative work Happiness: • People who have high self-esteem, believe they have more control and are more optimistic about the future, are m
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