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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Jan 17.doc

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PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

PSYC333 Lecture 3 - Jan. 17 The Organization of Self Knowledge Review: • We have ‘multiple selves’; friend-self, family-self, work-self, etc. •Self is a collection of representations/schemas about the self •“Working self-concept” is that set of representations that is accessible at any one moment • Core self conceptions are imbedded in a context of more tentative self con- ceptions that are tied to prevailing circumstances • The working self-concept • How does self-knowledge get activated? •Frequency of activation •Recency of activation • Contextual activation • Chronic accessibility - Similar in the sense of how frequent the core self is activat- ed Content of Self Representations: • Attributes • Roles • Relationships • Activities • Goals Structure of Self Knowledge: • Integration •Self concept clarity (Campbell et al 1996) • Extent to which self beliefs are: • Clearly and confidently defined • Internally consistent and stable • There is some form of ‘core’ self; reflected by self concept clarity where people could differ on in a systematic way • Self-discrepancies (Higgins) • Extent to which one’s actual self if consistent with “ideal” and “ought” stan- dards of one’s own and of others (i.e. mother, father, etc.) • Main point is understanding integration of other selfs • Clarity and lack of discrepancy generally associated with better outcomes • Differentiation • Knowledge activation depends on: • Context • Associated thoughts - certain ideas about the self are linked to other ideas of the self • Relation to currently activated self-concepts, and their frequency and recen- cy of activation • Self representations differ: • Number of self-aspects • Degree of differentiation Self-complexity: • Degree of differentiation depends on number of self aspects and their differentia- tion from each other • High self complexity = lots of roles, little overlap • Low self complexity = few roles, more overlap • “Spillover” • If something bad happens in one domain, it’s less likely to spread if there’s little overlap • The more similar self-aspects, the more thoughts and feelings spill over to other tasks in life • Affect extremity hypothesis: • Those lower in self complexity will experience greater swings in affect and self- appraisal in response to life events Self Complexity: Study 1 • Self complexity measured via trait sort •Trait sort: Had a number of index cards with traits on them. Had participants make categories based on their multiple selves. Using those index cards, reflect on the participant’s domains • State mood and self evaluations assessed • Manipulation: Ps given success/failure feedback • State mood and self-evaluations assessed again; • Results: •Lower self complexity = biggest changes in mood and self-esteem following fail- ure/success feedback •High self complexity = differed but less extreme change Self Complexity: Study 2 • Field study to look at affect swings over 2 weeks • Self complexity measured • Ps completed affect diary daily for 14 days (people regularly experience + & - self relevant events) • Lower self complexity associated with greater variance in affect ratings over timer Self Complexity: Study 3 • Might self-complexity serve as a cognitive buffer against stress-related depression and illness? • Methods: Self-complexity, depression, illness symptoms, and perceived stress measured at baseline, and again 2 weeks later • Results: High social complexity associated with less depression, perceived stress, physical symptoms, illness (Including flu) following high levels of stressful life events Compartmentalization (Showers 1992; 1996; 1998): • Compartmentalization: keep positive and negative information about the self in dif- ferent categories; •Focus on how we differentiate the good self from the bad self •Defined: keep positive and negative information about the self in different cate-
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