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PSYCH 253 (142)


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University of Waterloo
Hilary B Bergsieker

Self-Perception Self-Understanding - Self-concept – who am I? o Collection of beliefs about who you are  Traits: friendly, shy, hard worker, perfectionist  Likes/dislikes: love animals, hate crowds, big hockey fan  Wishes/hopes: future psych PhD, hope to become smarter  Social identities and roles: Asian, twin sister, feminist  Evaluations: “I’m awesome,” “I’m great”  Emotional states: excited - The self… a Western Construction o Self-concept, self-esteem, self-knowledge, social self - Mutual Constitution: Culture & Psyche - - Self-concept and culture - - Independent view of self vs. interdependent view of self - Culture & Self-Concept Stability o Study Design – (perfect correlation = +1)  Asian and White participants  Ask to consider self across  Situations: gym, party, discussion section, cafeteria  Relationships: friends, parents, roommates, siblings  Rated self on 10 traits  Considerate, conscientious, expressive, open-minded, patient, bossy, irresponsible, lazy, moody, picky  Researchers found: white students, regardless of who/where, there was a high degree of overlap – correlation were close, whereas Asians were more independent (less correlation in relationships contexts, higher correlation in situational) Self-Knowledge – how can I explain and predict myself? - Introspection o Process whereby we look inward and examine our own thoughts, feeling, and motives o We assume we have direct access to our mental states while experience them, but we do not  Failure to recognize change in attitudes/emotions  Overlooking influences on own behaviour  Reporting influence of invalid factors o How often do we ponder ourselves? o Overlooking influences on behaviour  Hinting ideas o Reporting Invalid Influences  Task – participants watched a film about Jewish poverty and then rated it on interest, sympathy, etc.  Distraction – some participants had a noisy power saw in the adjacent room, others weren’t exposed to a distracting noise  Results – distractions did not decrease participants’ actual film ratings; when asked, 55% said the noise lowered their rating o Confabulating reasons for behaviour o Confabulation – subliminal persuasion o Limits of Introspection  People don’t rely on introspection as often as you would think  Reasons for out thoughts, feelings, and motives can be hidden from conscious awareness o Telling more than we know  Experiment finding factors that affected their mood o Consequences of Introspection  Is it wise to analyze the reasons for our feelings and judgments?  Participants in dating relationships asked to rate relationship  Reason condition: wrote down why their relationship was going the way it was  Control condition: wrote on another topic  Reporting “reasons” changed their attitudes about how they felt about the relationship  Whose feelings predicted the outcome of the relationship the best? – Control condition - Social comparison theory
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