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Lecture 2

PSY325 - Lecture 2.docx

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Erika Carlson

PSY325 LECTURE 2 Self-esteem What is self-esteem? - beliefs (thoughts) Self-Esteem is correlated with… - people with low self-esteem are more likely to conform publicly (don’t want to be rejected) o same individuals are less likely to conform privately - people with low self-esteem are less likely to help others who may make them look bad Goals - contingencies of self worth o domains/categories where our self-esteem is  self-esteem is telling us whether we are achieving what we want in these domains o self-esteem: monitor for telling you whether you are succeeding in the domains that matter to you Contingencies of Self-Worth Evidence - followed people about acceptance/rejection for grad schools of students applying (undergrad) - self-esteem went down/up if they were rejected/accepted for those in which the domain academic competence mattered, didn’t affect those who didn’t care about this domain Downsides - Academic o Hurts performance and relationships  just worried about the grade as oppose to mastering the material  not engaging the material - Being in relationship example: o Put up with bad relationships, pursue ex Self-Determination Theory - shouldn’t be pursuing domains of self-worth (contingencies of self-worth) but instead we should pursue three, fundamental psychological needs: o competence (do things that make us feel we are affected) o autonomy (feel like your behaviour is chosen – freely chosen behaviour) o relatedness (connected to other people)  all three things are necessary to live a good life Terror Management Theory - we want to live, but realize that we all die - conflict produces terror - to avoid the idea that we will eventually die, we invented cultural world views o cultural world views – idea that we have culture, so ex. Life after death  religion invented to avoid the idea that we’re going to die  invented things where we could leave a legacy (ex. Write a book) o cultural world views – religion, justice  believe in these views deeply because it makes us feel like we are avoiding death in some way  idea of justice – gives us sense of control  culture – gives us a sense of meaning - self-esteem is telling us about when we’re living up to our cultural values (whatever they may be) o Anxiety-buffer hypothesis  Our self-esteem or cultural world view protect us from anxiety (anxiety that we’re going to die) PSY325 LECTURE 2  Idea that if we were to attack either (self-esteem or cultural world view) would increase anxiety • Because they are essentially acting as buffers against anxiety - Mortality Salience hypothesis o When death becomes salient to you and you have low self-esteem, we rely on our cultural world views to buffer us against this idea that we’re going to die o Cultural world view/self-esteem from ideas of death, and when death becomes salient we use the two things to reduce us  Ex. Write about own death • Rate other groups whether political/religious o If you have this death salience (because you wrote about your death)  More likely to rate your own group positively, and out-groups negatively • Only happens when you write about death o Protecting your world view, clinging to world view to reduce your anxiety  Ex. Harsher bond for prostitute • Had death salience, more likely to think the punishment (justice) should be harsher o Buffer themselves to the sense of anxiety so clinging to own views  Sense of anxiety brought on by priming the person to death (because they wrote about it earlier) Sociometer Theory - Fundamental need o Belonging is a fundamental human need o Self-esteem is an evolutionary adaptation in fulfilling our fundamental need to belong  Evolution gave us self-esteem - Helping us gauge our relational value (telling us how accepted we are by others) o State vs. trait  How do you feel about yourself in GENERAL – trait self-esteem  Self-esteem moment to moment – state self-esteem • Self-esteem going up when you think people are accepted you o Reflected appraisal – how you think other people view you o Do things to get to that value again Evidence for Sociometer - sociometer – more correct o high self-esteem when we are liked by others o people who like the kid predicted him liking himself o our social value is a gauge that is telling us when we’re doing well - self-broadcasting Self-Esteem Movement - Challenge Program o Revamped education programs  Engage in activities, gave students a variety of ways to demonstrate their performances - Idea was to make all children feel special Criticisms: PSY325 LECTURE 2 - self-esteem is genetic - poor self-knowledge… disappointment later on (not getting into med school) - Grade inflation - False sense of “special” OR… narcissism Narcissists are - very outgoing, could be charming right off the bat o if you met a narcissist after 30 seconds, you’d like them a lot  but by the 2 or 3 time is when you’d figure it out - flashy dressers - women - do their makeup - more promiscuous - talk about sex more - swear more - impulsive - disagreeable – tend to argue, critical of others as well as their ideas - men tend to be more narcissistic than women - individuals from the US tend to be more narcissistic across cultures/countries o individualized country - overtime, starting at adolescence – narcissism particularly high and overtime, it goes down o people who are younger tend to be more narcissistic Self-compassion
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