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January 23 - PSYC473.docx

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PSYC 473
Mark Baldwin

1/30/2013 10:36:00 AM Lecture 6: Wednesday January 23 rd Self-Conception -remarkable, there is variability in terms of how we see ourselves, but at the same time the extent to which we develop self-concepts that are shaped by our culture  things we have been exposed to, how that has been internalized -how do we form a sense of self?  How is it different for all of us? Self-Conception -how do you go about building that self-concept -declarative knowledge about the self  in early lecture asked to answer how I am – able to list who you are, have declarative knowledge of who you are  is that stored in mind as a list? Probably not  exemplars – examples of ourselves in different situations – lump exemplar information together, get a sense of different aspects of our self that way  social cognition and concepts- most of us think of associative networks (self-concept) organized Associative network in terms of James 3 selves:  material, social and private self  social aspects different from material self  private self-traits, experiences – organized in certain ways o certain values may be related to traits of you  associative network: some things are linked more strongly than others  this approach was formulated early on in terms of a dynamic self – depends on various relationships and contexts  not a static list, but information from many inputs, dynamic or varying sense of self – better way of representing yourself -procedural knowledge for thinking about self Self-Conception Processes: -how do we construct a sense of self? -if we could look at a mirror and saw our associative network, it would be easy to understand self-concept, if we believe everything in our existence is represented here  but there is some construction of information, selection, inference, a lot of things that go into question of what do we do to gain sense of self -open to idea that this isn’t necessarily simple and straight forward – not just observing and recording  interesting about self theory is that we construct this sense of who we are in various ways -various thoughts about how we construct who we are: 1) Observation of Objective Reality -applies to bodily self, looking in the mirror  we do that, for most of us our sense of self matches reasonably well with objective reality 2) Observation of Contingencies -stubbing toe and feeling pain -feelings of agency  experience that allows you to infer your own mentality -my own inner presence 3) Introspection -thoughts and feelings (including bodily sensations)  inform and reinforce awareness of own existence -the sense of one’s location  derived from visual cues o ‘optic flow’ -driving a motorcycle and things go whipping by you, defining your position – relative to things flowing around you visually  ex: movie making when killer went from being figure, but killers point of view camera positioning o you cant see me – as child learns to build sense of self, learning about physical being and identify with this presence in visual world – we experience core of ourselves, typical answer – cover your eyes, can I see you? Some sense that by blocking visual connection, you disappear o as he was coming into the change room he would say close your eyes ladies im coming through extent to which visual input helps you define your position -self-awareness is constructed, here I am, taking information and binding it together  at the basic level of our own existence in the world – we construct that sense of self through these various processes that make our self existence -subjective awareness between difference between you and environment – beyond that we have complex symbolic self-awareness of who we are -humans develop a complex set of ideas of who we are 4) Distinctiveness -how self differs from others -things you focus on tend to be things that makes you different from others -McGuire et al.  white students mention race 1% of the time  black students mention race 17% of the time  average weight kids mention weight 37%  heavy or light kids mention weight 52%  mention gender if distinctive in family situation  build a self concept that makes you distinctive -no reason these white students couldn’t mention that they were Caucasia, selectivity that goes on 1-4 are more informational, 5+ you can see selective impact more clearly -our sense of self can change across time and situation 5) Autobiographical Memory: -‘identity’ – unity, oneness  we remember doing these things, sense of continuity between many years ago and today  some construction, inference, cognition going on in receiving and binding together the bits of info about our self into identity -Self-Narrative -we organize them into a coherent pattern, a self-narrative  what is the story of your life? We have in our minds some story of life -it is a constructive process, naïve realism that that is your life – sum total of who you are  the self-narrative has to be selective, how many things have you st done since January 1 of this year? 7 billion things – little info about you – which of these things do you remember and organize into a sense of who you are? Which things do you select? Not just one story to tell, going through sequence of events and remember them all – we select which ones we include – interpretations of our events, explanations of the
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