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Self Concept: Who are you

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Management Sciences
MSCI 411
Shannon Hartling

Self Concept – Who are you? – May 8 , 2013 th  Self-description: identify activities that you participate in or groups or organizations to which you belong  These are parts of your self – the sum total of who you are – a person’s central inner force common to all humans and yet, unique in each – deep source of growth  You are also part of your self concept – subjective description of who you think you are – filtered through perceptions  Who you are is also reflected in your attitudes, beliefs and values – learned constructs that shape behavior and self image.  Attitude – a learned predisposition to respond to a person, object, idea in a favorable or unfavorable way. They reflect what you do and don’t like  Beliefs – the ways in which you structure your understanding of reality – true and false. Based on previous experiences  Relation between attitudes and beliefs – you can have a favorable attitude towards something and still believe negative things about it. o Ex” hockey team will not win provincial championship though you are a big fan.  Values – enduring concepts of good and bad, right and wrong. Resistant to change than attitudes or beliefs o Most difficult to identify. o Very central to who you are o Instilled in us by our interpersonal relationships. Parents shape our values o Values are central to our behavior and concept of self and we are likely to change. o Beliefs are more likely to change than our core values but not as much as our attitudes Are you Conscious of who you are?  Three ways of being self aware: o Conscious of who you are and what you are doing o Subjective self-awareness/objective self-awareness o Symbolic self-awareness Subjective Self Awareness  Ability that people have to differentiate themselves from their environment. Separate from surroundings.  Ex: you are not physically attached to the chair you are sitting in. Objective Self Awareness  Ability to be the object of one’s own thoughts and attention.  You have the ability to think about your own thoughts as you think about them  You are separate from your environment (subjective) but also ponder the thoughts you are thinking  Objective self-awareness can be turned on and off.  You can be aware or unaware of what you are thinking. Symbolic Self Awareness  Unique to humans – our ability to think about how to make a good impression on others.  Use language or symbols to represent ourselves to others.  Conscious effort to use symbols to influence how you are perceived. One or Many Selves?  We have a core set of behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and values that constitute our self – sum total of who we are  Concept of self can also change depending on circumstances and influences.  Self concepts are different from the way others see us  Behave differently in public than in private  William James identified three components of the self: o Material self o Social self o Spiritual Self Material Self  “You are what you have”  Total of all of the tangible/physical things you own – possessions, home, body  Body gets considerable attention – change appearance  Discrepancy between desired and material self and self concept, we try and eliminate discrepancy (lose weight, develop muscles) Social Self  The part that interacts with others  William James believed we have many social selves – depending on friend, family member, colleague, those who we interact with, we change the way we are  As many social selves as there are people who recognize him/her  Ex: With your best friend, you can reveal more thoughts and feelings than conversing with parents or professor.  Relationships with each person is unique – unique social self  “Who are you?” Spiritual Self  Internal thoughts and introspections about values and moral standards – not dependent on what you own or with whom you talk  Essence of who you THINK you are of your feelings about yourself apart from external evaluations.  “Why am I here?” How your self concept develops  Our interactions with other individuals  Association with groups  Roles we assume  Our labels  Our personalities Interaction with individuals  1902 – Charles Horton Cooley advanced the notion that we form our self-concepts through our looking glass o we learn who we are by interacting with others which are reflected back to us o Reflected appraisal – you learn who you are based on how others treat you. o Our behavior and who we are, are a consequence of our relationships with others.  Hary Sullivan theorized that from birth to death, our self changes because of how people respond to us. o Our names are one of the primary ways we identify ourselves o Parents are key in shaping who we are. o As we become less dependent on our parents, our friends become highly influential in shaping our attitudes, beiefs, values o Friends provide feedback on how we perform – shape our identity  We incorporate the comments of others into our self concept when: o We are more likely to believe another’s statement if repeated. If many people tell us on different occasions about our talent, we are likely to do something about it o We are more likely to value another’s statement if he/she has already earned our confidence. If the individual is trustworthy, competent, we are more likely to believe it. o If comments are consistent with other comments and our own experience. Association with groups  Religious, political, ethnic, social, study, occupation, professional groups determine our self-concept  Associating with groups is important for those who are not part of a dominant culture. The groups we associate with provide information about our identity and needed social support. Roles we assume  Father, sister, aunt, uncle, manager etc… are labels that imply expectations of behavior, and shape our self-concept  Couples living together before marriage say that it alters their relationship – labels of husband and wife assume traditional roles  We assume traditional roles because our gender group asserts a powerful influence. Pink for girl, blue
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