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February 18 - PSYC473.doc

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McGill University
PSYC 473
Mark Baldwin

Lecture 13: February 18/2013 Self-Evaluation and Insecurity Midterm test - On the 25th, students with last names starting with M-Z, go to Lea 232 instead of coming to our usual classroom (if you forget there will probably be room in regular spot but try not to) - roughly 40 questions - about 12 MC and - about 28 short answer (true-false, single word, or a sentence or two) - Office hour rescheduled: 4:30 today and Wednesday - we will have the whole class to do it - will never need to know a name or a date-- he may use a name or a date as a clue but there should be enough information even without that in the question; never need to know a name or a date in the answer - if he described it in class or it gets a few lines in the text you may need to describe a study - if you know the basics of the things that have been covered, and you know what the concepts are, ex. define concept-- you could make up a definition - if you can do those basic things you can get a B, need to know a few to get an A - weighting between reading and lectures? a lot of what he is teaching is in the text (so if it is both, it will most likely be tested), beyond that maybe more heavily toward text because there is more material to draw from; tries to test both of them thoroughly - his tests are “fair, but fairly thorough” - the second test will have less info overlapping between lecture and text - need doctor to write medical note - this lecture will be on it as will next class’s - Self-Evaluation and Insecurity - professor went into social psychology because of self evaluation and insecurity - he found that even people who aren’t terribly insecure seemed to be driven by issues of self-evaluation - always been of central interest to prof - Self-esteem: The value one places on oneself - Why do we self-evaluate? Why not just always value ourselves (why not always value positively, self-evaluation can often feel bad-- why not always have high self-esteem)? What is the basis of low and high self-esteem feelings? - why are we “stuck” with this - recall/ homework assignment: observe ways in which you evaluate yourself: - positive or negative in terms of your evaluation of academics? intelli- gence? appearance? body? performance (sport/instrument/etc)? - everyone is concerned with different things but for your own self keep those things in mind-- why do we evaluate these things and why does it create an emotional reaction? where does that come from? - compare it to the way prof feels about his car - Evaluation = Expectancy X Value - E.g., evaluation of a car - one way to look at things like that: expectancy X value formulation: what are the expectancies or judgements in relation to the value? - so he owned that car, for the most part he liked it (good looking, more so than past car), good price - he expects when he puts his foot on the gas he will go fast, he values that so sees it as a good car - but when winter would come he has memories of driving it up Peel st. (rear wheel drive), he would fishtail around the road - couldn’t even get to where he wanted to go; had to park in snowbanks - so, if you expect things to work out in terms of something you value then you will have positive evaluation of the car; whereas if you ex- pect things not to work out in terms of something you value you have negative evaluation - so he would essentially have mood swings in terms of the car - so this is a fairly generic model in terms of facilitating or blocking what we value - What motivation, values, goals, underlie self-evaluation? - Evolutionary analysis - Is there a “self-esteem motive”? “Wired-in”? - people have thought about self-esteem for the last 100-150 years, of- ten it has been thought there is just a self-esteem model; that we just want to feel good about ourselves - this may be true but it is unsatisfying - prof understands that we have motivation to eat or to repro- duce, but how would you naturally have a motivation for self-es- teem - the case might be made but most of the field doesn’t buy it-- in- stead many people are quite happy to take an evolutionary ap- proach but they wouldn’t feel satisfied to just boil it down to something wired-in (a little circular, unsatisfying way to look at it) - so is it like the car example? not that we are wired to esteem our car but it is related to another value or motive that is relevant to us - so we need to say - Some possible underpinnings of Self-Esteem Motive - Mastery - Wired to feel good when we are competent - early humans who found competency rewarding would be strive more to be competent; would be more likely to survive as a result - because feeling competent felt good to them then they were more likely to do it therefore more likely to survive, seems plausible - a lot of people stop there-- self esteem is just how competent we are - and yet others would call that our self-efficacy -- may contribute to self esteem but does not seem to be entirety of self value or why we feel that way - for self esteem also need to look to social sources - Social Sources: - a) social rank - wired to feel good when dominant, high status - just like a gorilla or a wolf in a pack, we are wired to feel good when we are dominant or a high status in a hierarchy - evolution has wired in a rewarding feeling of being dominant or high status, and therefore early humans might have been striv- ing for that and those who achieved it were dominant and be- cause they were dominant they were able to procreate and have their genes go on - sounds a bit like social comparison principles-- where do I stand in comparison to others? - ex. motorcycle guy or banking executive: both feel like they are at the top/are the king - with gorilla there is maybe one way of reaching dominance whereas for motorcycle gangs and bank executives there may be other means of achieving status - prof liked his car when comparing it to other cars he had had - b) Social Inclusion - wired to feel good when accepted, attached - we don’t just want to be top dog but at least part of the gang - ex. part of the wolf pack or part of the group of humans in the cave around the fire - feel good feeling socially connected or included - in cave dweller days if you are shunned you will get eaten the next day, won’t procreate, genes won’t pass on - so being accepted by the group increases likelihood of surviving and procreating - social rank and inclusion could derive from each other-- both so- cial motives - ex. trying to stay included to move up the ranks or be the top dog to stay included - but on the other hand, in trying to be the top dog you have to beat everyone else up so you are not doing much to make people like you, so the motivation to get ahead may lead you not to get along - so what are the motives and values that are forming the self-evaluative re- sponses? the argument is because you are trying to figure out how to meet these wired in motivations - prof’s research on social inclusion (dominating right now) - kid’s soccer game: sitting there drinking coffee, reading paper, check e-mail, whatever - one father the prof saw was intensely involved: standing on the side- lines yelling - if the boy did the right thing and kicked it up the field the father said “Good!” Great!” “That’s my boy!” But if he did the wrong thing he buried his hands in his face and turned away yelling “Noo!” - so what’s being learned from that is information about social inclu- sion-- need to belong Social Inclusion: Key Ideas - Need to Belong - Sociometer Theory (Mark Leary) - evolved system to monitor social inclusion - self-esteem does correlate with feelings of being accepted and supported by significant others - self-esteem is derived from the system that is saying “how am I do- ing?” - “do my characteristics lend themselves to being included? ex- cluded?” - monitoring secure/safe inclusion or conversely exclusion -
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