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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 Social Psych.pdf

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Simone Walker

Lecture 2: The Self ▯ • Overview • What is the Self ◦ The self shapes the social world and the social world shapes the self ◦ For ex: think about yourself how you behave with different people (how you are with your parents vs your friends) ◦ We have the tendency to blame others for our failures and our internal factors for our successes ◦ William James ▪ wrote the first systematic theory of the self in psych ▪ the first component of the self is the “I-Self” ▪ is that part of you that thinks your thoughts, feels your feelings ▪ the part of you that actively experiences the world ▪ The other component is the “Me Self” ▪ encompasses the contents of who you are ▪ this is composed of your thoughts, feels, values, attitudes, behaviours, families, loved ones, objects ▪ When some asks you who you are, I-self allows you to answer the question and the Me-Self is the answer ◦ Many of our contemporary theories use James work • What is the self 2 ◦ the things we are going to talk a bit about ◦ Self knowledge: how do you obtain knowledge about yourself ◦ Added: Self regulation: How can I control my thoughts, feelings and actions ▪ this is another important part of the self • Functions of the Self ◦ Is the self unique to humans ◦ being able to make the distinction between who you are and other things is the ability to recognize the self ◦ we are the only organisms that most aware of the self ▪ we are able to take ourselves as the subjects of our own attention ▪ we can think about ourselves and analyze ourself ▪ we are the organisms that have the most sophisticated forms of self knowledge ▪ like self esteem ◦ The more complex the organism the more sophisticated it’s self knowledge ◦ Organizational ▪ The self allows us to organize information ▪ the information about yourself is easy for you to find, obtain, thus it is theorized that the self helps us to organize information ▪ Self Schemas: organize information about ourself ▪ how we feel, how behave, how we think ▪ Helps us make meanings of our experience ▪ helps us interpret our experience, if we didn’t have these schemas this would be harder ▪ like getting an A on a test: this could mean that we are improving or doing better than our peers ▪ we start projecting the future (you’ll get into grad school) ▪ If you didn’t have this organization system, you would have trouble telling someone about yourself ▪ hopes, dreams, aspirations ▪ Self Reference Effect ▪ people have this preference for the letters that are in their name ▪ Ex: meeting someone new at a party ▪ you are an athlete and you meet two other people, one is an accountant and one is an athlete ▪ according to research you would remember more things about the athlete than the accountant because that information is most similar to you so it is better encoded and easier to retrieve ◦ Motivational ▪ The self can help us to monitor our progress to our particular goals ▪ we are capable of imagining other forms of ourselves ▪ future selves and we can have multiple forms of these (all of these) ▪ graduate student, underpaid, or have future selves that you want to avoid to become ▪ Present Selves ▪ is not like our ought self and it can make us feel sad that can motivate us to aspire to be this ought self (who we want to be) ▪ Past Selves ▪ we compare ourselves to how we were in the past ▪ this could be motivation to not become like that past self (if it was negative and very different) ▪ we imagine that past self from a 3rd person perspective if they are very different from us ▪ if we are more similar to our past self than we look at that past self from a first person perspective ▪ Self Regulation ▪ Ex: when you first started to drive, you consciously regulate how you grip the wheel, tensing certain muscles, how much pressure you put on the gas ▪ but when you reflect on your driving a couple year later; you don’t have to consciously think about how to drive properly ▪ that regulation of your behaviour has become automatic ▪ it’s outside of your conscious awareness ▪ Self control in contrast to self regulation is conscious (so self control is like a form of self regulation ▪ Ex Muraven Et al (1998) ▪ when we engage in self control, this requires a mental energy and it is finite ▪ so whenever we use self control we use this finite resource and we need to cognitively rest for this finite source to replenish before we can do this again ▪ they tested this ▪ they first had participants read a dense and bland passage ▪ participants were supposed to cross out any e’s they saw in this passage according to a set of rules ▪ this causes the participants to exert self control and deplete their finite resource ▪ after the participants solved puzzles (they were unsolvable) ▪ they used different puzzles in different groups ▪ The ones that had read the passage before hand and crossed out the e’s gave up a lot quicker ▪ Ex Dieters ▪ in one lab participants walked into the room and it smelled of chocolate chip cookies ▪ one group sampled the chocolate chip cookies ▪ another group in the same smelling room were to sample radishes ▪ these ones were supposed to control their behaviour and eat radishes instead of cookies ▪ these participants, when given puzzles, gave up quicker than the cookie group ▪ The reason why dieters might break their diet is because they have used up the energy for self control ◦ Protective ▪ Ex Self-enhacement motive ▪ this is a motivation that we all have to see ourselves in a positive light and to maintain that we are seen in a positive light ▪ this results in very interesting behaviours, beliefs and biases ▪ they allow you to feel good about who you are ▪ it allows you to obtain rewards and avoid punishments • Introspection (How do we know ourselves) ◦ you think about yourself ◦ very interesting way of gathering self knowledge ◦ we don’t engage in introspection as much as we think we do ◦ it is not the major way we obtain info about ourselves ◦ the problem with introspection is that it does’t give answers for why you think what you think, why you feel what you feel, why you do what you do ▪ Ex: explaining mood ◦ Introspection can also lead to errors ▪ Ex: how long romantic relationships will last ▪ who do you think will be most accurate how long the relationship will last? ▪ the people in the relationship? ▪ family and friends? ▪ friends and family usually have the most correct answer ▪ complete strangers? ▪ Ex: Planning fallacy ▪ we underestimate how long it will take us to complete a task ▪ Ex: Affective forecasting ▪ how you will feel after a break up for example ▪ typically we don’t feel as bad as we think we will and we don’t feel as bad as long as we think we would ▪ Why do we make these errors? ▪ Impact bias ▪ Immune Neglect ▪ underestimate our coping resources, our resilience • Self-Awareness ◦ when we consciously focus on our attention to ourselves ◦ differs from introspection ◦ it is stimulated by some cue ◦ when we are in a state of self awareness: we automatically compare our current behaviour to our morals, standards, values, beliefs ◦ this is usually in response to some cue, usually from the environment ◦ we have the tendency to believe that other people are privy to what is going on with us mentally when this happens ◦ Ex: if you believe that you’re an honest person ▪ Ie: is it wrong to lie to my friends? ▪ that mirror triggers self awareness ▪ looking at a picture of yourself or video can trigger self awareness ▪ getting an F or an A on a test can trigger self awareness ◦ Figure ▪ when this discrepancy occurs in your internal standard (that I am an honest person) and you will feel psychological discomfort discomfort ▪ one of two things will happen because you want to get rid of this discomfort ▪ you can make your behaviour consistent with your belief (tell them you lied) ▪ or you can flee from the situation (escape being self aware) ◦ This discomfort can be quite painful and take extreme forms ▪ Ex: getting drunk ▪ Ex: suicide ◦ But self awareness can have positive effects ▪ ex: sticking to your moral standards and avoid engaging in behaviour that is contrary to them ◦ Can escape (positive) ▪ Ex. spiritual experiences • Observing Ones Own Behaviour ◦ Is another way we can infer knowledge of ourself ◦ Self Perception Theory ▪ She’s using her behaviour to infer how she feels about country music ▪ she takes into account the situation as well ▪ 2 types of motivation ▪ Intrinsic: you do it because you enjoy it ▪ Extrinsic: you do it because there is external reward or pressure ▪ like getting paid ▪ Over justification Effect ▪ we overestimate the extrinsic and underestimate the intrinsic ▪ Thus you should be careful not to give rewards to a child’s behaviour for doing behaviour that they like
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