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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Jan 12.doc

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PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

PSYC333 Lecture 2 - Jan. 12 Multiple Selves: • “A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind.” - James, 1892 Which Self Am I Now?: • Phenomenal self (Jones & Gerard, 1967) • Small portion of (self) knowledge that is the current focus of awareness • Spontaneous self concept (McGuire, 1984) Distinctiveness Theory: • A person notices her or his distinctive traits and personal characteristics more readily because of their greater informational richness and value for discriminating self from others: • Not very useful to describe yourself as a McGill student in a class of McGill stu- dents Example #1: Atypical attributes: • 6th grade students atypical in age, hair colour, eye colour, weight and birthplace mention these attributes more than those with typical characteristics Example #2: Ethnicity: • People are more likely to mention ethnicity and things that separate themselves from others Example #3: Gender: • Gender: function of household sex composition • 26% of minority sex in classroom mention gender, 11% of majority Example #4: (Cota & Dion, 1986) • Create ad hoc 3 person groups in the lab: • All males • All females • 1 male, 2 female (distinctiveness condition) • 1 female; 2 males (distinctiveness condition) • Who describes themselves by gender? •34% (distinctiveness condition) vs. 16% (non-distinctive condition) • Implications: •Different situations can activate different schemas and this produces different versions of the self •People can be manipulated by having them comb through their stock of self views in a biased manner • Sheds light on how the self concept can be changed Dynamic Self-Concept: (Markus & Wurf, 1987) • Self is a collection of representations/schemas about the self • “Working self-concept” is that set of representations (body of knowledge) that is ac- cessible at any one moment •Core self conceptions are imbedded in a context of more tentative self concep- tions that are tied to prevailing circumstances • Some of the ideas about the self is more central to the self; others more peripheral, but only a small subset of that is in the current focus of awareness Accessibility: • Activation potential of available knowledge (Higgins, 1996) • Accessibility is a function of: • Frequency of action - highly interconnected; more accessible to the self •Activating one node will more likely activate another node • Recency of activation - residual activation • Frequency and recency of activation are going to influence the accessibility of self knowledge Recap: • We have multiple selves • When asked who we are, we come up with different descriptions of ourselves de- pending on the situation, context, and who we are talking to • We however, have one central (dynamic) self that consists of all the different knowl- edge we have about the self • Working self cannot have all the knowledge accessible all the time, so we have a subset of knowledge accessible at any given situation; this is known as the ‘work- ing-self concept’ Contextual Activation I: (Fazio, Effrein, Falender, 1981, JPSP) • Manipulation: • Extraverted: “what would you do if you wanted to liven things up at a party?” • Introverted: “what things do you dislike about loud parties?” • Control: neither extraverted or introverted • Those in the extraverted condition: • Described themselves as more extraverted • Acted more extraverted in a subsequent situation!
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