SOC 2760 Lecture 6: Soc psych

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13 Feb 2017
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Social psychology
The notion/nature of self
All part of a larger social structure
What is self? Self concept known as me self awareness (the knower of I)
Qualities social characteristics names psychological characteristics all
make up the self …how you define yourself (the me)
Younger ppl usually think about physical characteristics like is a boy and
has brown hair
Three features of self (the I and me)
Self includes the body
Self includes the Social identity (I am from Guelph)
Self is the active agent (decision making)
Functions of selfhood
Self in an interpersonal tool
o You know what u are, urself will tell u how to interact w other ppl, ex.
If ur friend is helpful u call that friend not ur neighbor…you create
that interpersonal connection…50 first dates there is no sense of self
for her, bc everyday is a new interaction. We know who to interact
w
Self makes choices
Self regulation
o You make the choices of how to react and who u think u are/ how
to react
Self knowledge (me) comes from:
Feedback u get from others effects ur view of urself ex. U know ur smart bc
ppl tell u that u are but none have actually taken a iq test
Self comparison
Self as a blank slate?!...not exactly true bc babies are born w some
element of self notion
Perceived self knowledge
Self knowledge is obtained from others but it is heavily filtered thru biases
from others:
o Politeness of others: like politeness not telling someone their hairstyle
is bad when u don’t know them that well
o Our lack of tendency to hear and process criticism
Accuracy of Self knowledge
Is it possible to be accurate? We tend to present ourselves in a positive
way
some ppl say yes bc it’s the most complete form of knowledge
imaginable
No psychoanalysis (its hard to define/obtain) bc its complicated
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Introspection
Introspection is one way of dev. Self knowledge: the process of looking
inward and examining our thoughts and feelings
Introspection has some limitations: ppl don’t engage in introspection
often
1. People don’t engage in introspection often
2. Reasons for some of our beh are hidden from consciousness
awareness
Healthy self knowledge
Good mental health includes several systematic distortions:
1. Exaggerating positive self evaluation
2. Exaggerating perception of control
3. Having unrealistic optimism
Caution: there is an optimal margin of illusion for healthy adjustment (u can think
ur better than u actually are but to a certain extent)
Self-esteem
is a sense of personal worth it comes from other ppl like caregivers and
direct experience
social feedback
direct experience if efficacy
is self esteem stable or fluctuate?
Development Of self esteem
Self esteem increases from adolescences to middle adulthood peaks at
50-60
Seniors have low self esteem
Self esteem is relatively stable
High self esteem predicts success and well being in life domains such as
relationships, work and health
Enhancing self esteem
To increase out self esteem, we engage in social comparison:
o Downward and upward comparison can increase self esteem
Dark side of self esteem
Ppl whose inflated favorable self es. Is threated often react by putting others
down (using violence)
Lecture 3 self across culture
How do we understand ourselves?
Diversity of society in a quote
There are different rationalities in different parts of the world (norms differ bw
cultures)
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Definition of culture
Set of beliefs what is acceptable (not acceptable for a man to be
married to 4 wives
What we consider positive vs negative
Culture comprises (1) the human made part of the environment (roads,
buildings) (2) the social institutions of the society such as norms, rules and
laws (regulations, in Canada u can’t be a psychologist’s w/o a pHD but in
a diff part of the world undergrad in psych leads u to be a psychologist)
It takes time for culture to influence ppl
Culture imposes a set of values
Culture shapes our experiences
Influences they way we dress walk talk
You wont realize how Canadian you are until u leave the county and see
how ppl point out ur accent
“in some cultures I would be considered normal”
What influences culture?
Environment ex. If u leave close to a lake ppl become fisherman in order
to survive and eat, being brave and independent but if ur in an
environment like a city u don’t have to work as hard so u have to conform
to what the society does
Ecology shapes cultures
Ecology culture social behaviours
Sameness vs differences
There are universal behaviours and experiences
Thumbs up means “lets have sex” in brazil
Most cultures value honesty and everyone eats but what we eat when
and with whom we eat differentiates
there are cultural differences in practicing social beh and interpreting
experiences ex religion, food marriage
humans are more similar to one another than different (we share more
things)
who am I?
quiz that people answer about themselves
ppl usually write I am a dreamer I like dogs etc…more internal values
(independent self)
in japan its more like im the only child I am a psych major…more personal
values (interdependent self)
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