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PSYC 473 Lecture Notes - Social Cognition, Social Comparison Theory, Mark Leary

Course Code
PSYC 473
Mark Baldwin

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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-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
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
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