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PSYC 473 - Self-Evaluation and Insecurity

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McGill University
PSYC 473
Mark Baldwin

PSYC 473 – Social Cognition and the Self 1 February 18th, 2013 40 questions 12 MC 28 short answer (T-F, single word, or a sentence or two)  never need to give a name or a date but they might be provided  weighting : textbook more heavily and lectures SELF-EVALUATION AND INSECURITY Self-esteem: The value one places on oneself  Why do we self-evaluate? Why not just always value ourselves? What is the basis of low and high self-esteem feelings? o often feels bad (to self-evaluate) why not always have positive self-esteem, pride, satisfaction, feel better, why not always have high self-esteem, yet it's more easily said than done o Homework assignment (of the past few weeks): think of ways to evaluate ourselves, academics, intelligence, appearance, body, (positive or negatively), performance in some way, sport, musical instrument. o Why do you even evaluate yourself? Why does it create an emotional reaction?  Evaluation = Expectancy X Value o E.g., evaluation of a car  Prof. Baldwin liked his car, previous was a cheap thing, got a good price on it (wasn't cheap though) was fast, leather seats -> value things like power, driving fast. He could expect that when he pressed the gas, it would move forward and pass other cars  In the winter, driving up Peel Street, even when you have good winter tires, it wouldn't drive in the snow, when you park, in Montreal, drive in snow banks. expecting all these problems driving in the city, even though he values the car  Broad model of how we evaluate things. bring what I value or block these things o expectancy/value correlation  What motivations, values, goals, underlie self-evaluation?  Evolutionary analysis o Is there a "self-esteem motive"? "Wired-in"?  we want to feel good about yourself  might be true but ends up being kind of unsatisfying  there's something very circular and unsatisfying about it  the answer would be something that reflects some motive that is relevant to us  why does it upset you when you fail a midterm Some possible underpinnings of Self-Esteem Motive  Mastery o Wired to feel good when we are competent  When we define competent, it makes more sense; early humans who valued competency would be more likely to survive; some kind of mastery motive to be PSYC 473 – Social Cognition and the Self 2 true; a lot of people would stop there, how competent are we? How much can we set ourselves to achieve? some people call that self-efficacy, but others may think that it may be a part of it but doesn't define self-esteem  Social Sources: o (a) Social Rank  wired to feel good when dominant, high status  just like a gorilla, wired to feel good when higher up in the hierarchy; evolution has wired in this rewarding feeling of high status, therefore, early humans may have been striving for it, procreate and had their genes passed down; maybe with the gorilla there is only one way to achieving status, maybe for motor cyclists have different ways to achieving status, maybe not as strong, attractive as much as you would like to be. How much power, rank do we have? maybe we use that to define our valuing system  sounds like social comparison, where do I stand in relation to others o (b) Social Inclusion  wired to feel good when accepted, attached  Want to be part of the gang, wolf pack, or humans around the cage; feel good by being socially connected, if you are shunned, you get eaten in the savanna, and you won't procreate, or survive. procreating is a powerful motive for social inclusion o Why are you feeling the way you do when you reach those evaluations?  social rank and inclusion can derive from each other, getting along and getting ahead, trying to stay included to raise up the ranks; might end up “up and against” each other, might have to beat up everyone to get ahead, might lead you to not get along, may not lead to the same conclusion on some dimension; different motives may lead to different outcomes, it can work together but can also work apart Slide: Kid playing soccer Baldwin was at a soccer game. A father intensively watching the game, screaming at the son, when the son did well, he would say: "that's my boy!" when the boy did badly, the father would say, "Nooooo" and burry his fa
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