Course: Social Cognition and the Self
Professor: Mark Baldwin
Date: Jan 14th, 2013
Lecture 3: The Self
Demonstrates the ability to think about ourselves
What self related thinking seems to influence people’s behavior?
- EX: Paris Hilton ->
- EX: Bernard Madoff -> Very important person in the financial district and gave alot of
money away. Had an investment firm and was widely regarded as the most successful
firm and it turned out that his firm was a fosmy scheme, not a successful investor. He
was seen as very successful and presented himself that way, however was convicted
and expressed his shame and bad feelings about himself. What was his self image dur-
ing the scheme and then what changed after his conviction?
- EX: Mark Madoff -> Was not involved in the scheme, however was found hanged after
his father was convicted. He had been suffering with shame, suffering the disgrace his
father had inflicted on him and told his surroundings that this whole thing became too
much for him. Sense of shame, guilt and regret and being scrutinized was too much to
- Who one is as a motivator, also driving the painful feelings that might have come right
What are the core motivations that drive people?
- Human beings think about ourselves not like other organisms share to the same extent
Us thinking about ourselves alot, shapes our whole lives and influences our thinking and
behavior (Self Cognition) -> Clinical disorders (Anxiety, depression even anorexia)
Topics to be covered:
Self Conception: “Who am I?”
Self Evaluation: “How good/bad am I?”
Self Regulation: Control of behavior WILLIAM JAMES
- First great social psychologist
- Important writings about the self
- One of the defining thing about self conception (being right here and now) is that it is
- Takes the reflexive moment and divides that into two -> 1) Experience of “I” (agent of
the subject of the thought) 2) Experience of “Me” (Object of thought)
Do animals have a self concept? Is their experience the same as ours?
- How would you test this?
- Do they recognize their own existence?
- Gallup (1977) -> Put an animal infront of a mirror -> What happens? At first, the re-
searcher’s were convinced that the chimpanzee thought the reflection in the mirror was
another chimpanzee. They left the mirror for 10 days and eventually the chimpanzee re-
alized that the reflection was itself. But how would you test that this was evidence that
the chimpanzee was itself in the mirror? ROUGE TEST “Mark test” -> Anesthesized the
monkey and applied ink to its eyelid and then when it went to the mirror and pulled their
eyelid to see the ink (touching that part of the body after being marked and compared
how often the chimpanzee touched it’s eyelid) -> Very clear and compelling evidence.
This test doesn’t apply to an infant (15-24 months) do not react the same way a chim-
panzee does. Children have to develop the ability to recognize and pass the rouge test.
Some animals do but most do not pass this test.
- Your own sense of existence, the awareness, do other animals just don’t have it at all?
1) Subjective Self Awareness (Distinguish between self and environment)
2) Objective Self Awareness (Where you do have some representation of your own
awareness, you’re able to make the link using a mirror representation for example.
Decalarative Self Knowledge: Events from the past (episodic memory) and abstract cat-
egorical information (semantic memory; EX: Self Schema)
Procedural Self Knowledge (How do you go about think about yourself?) We all have
different ways of thinking about ourselves
Aspects of Self 1) Material Self (The bodily self - The physical being