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Lecture 5

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Connie Boudens

PSYB30 – Lecture 5 Purple Text – Prof’s Speech The Self William James: Two Perspectives on the Self The self is composed of our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, or what James called the “known” or “me” The self is also the active processor of information, the “knower,” or “I.” - Duality of the perception of the self o The “known” or the “me” = thoughts and beliefs about ourselves; feedback on what we’re doing o The “knower” or the “I” = active processor of information; reflects on processes In modern terms, we refer to the known aspect is the self concept, and the knower aspect as self- awareness. - “me” = self-concept - “I” = self-awareness These two aspects of the self combine to create a coherent sense of identity: - Think of the self as a book – the “me” is the content of the book collected over time, the “I” is the reader of the book Charles Horton Cooley: The Looking Glass Self Self can’t be understood in isolation--must be studied in interaction with others o Who you are is formed by the interactions you have with others Self is not an inherent property of human nature, but a socially-constructed entity o We have a self because the concept of self was socially constructed by society as a whole Sense of self is built upon seeing ourselves through the eyes of others o The looking glass self is the self that you think other people see Table 5.1 (in textbook) 0-1 year: develop physical self-awareness - recognize that there are boundaries to the self - recognize the distinction between the self and the environment that is not the self - when infants are born, they cannot make the above distinction 1-2 years: self-recognition – a sign that the infant has an understanding of the difference between the self and other people - develop theory of mind – people have thoughts separate from their own Adolescence: become aware of what others think of them Adult: stable sense of self, normally - incorporate societal expectations into the self Rouge Test - self-recognition test for children - mark on forehead of child o <18 months child doesn’t think it is self in the mirror with mark (looks around for the other person) o By 18 months – child is able to make the connection; they recognize that it is the self in the mirror Self-Concept • All the beliefs people have about the self that they believe to be true (more concrete) • Network of ideas • Organizes and provides coherence for how we experience the self • Provides sense of continuity • With dissociative personality disorder – patients do not have a sense of continuity; they do not know what is going on in other personalities Development of Self-Concept • Child’s self-concept is concrete, with observable characteristics • i.e. favourite things, age, etc. • Infants become aware of the self and the nonself, then the self and others, and then they can reflect on their own activities • Becomes more complex with age. • Less emphasis on material things, more emphasis on psychological states (thoughts and feelings), opinions of others • In adolescence – more emphasis on the thoughts/opinions of others How does self-concept develop? How does self-concept develop? • Birth – 1 year: develop physical awareness • 2-3 years: recognize self in mirror, uses language to demonstrate self-awareness • 3-4 years: develop skills and abilities • 5-6 years: compare selves to peers; include differences between self and others in self-concept • Private sense of self develops • More concrete self-concept • 9-10 years: recognize and understand traits as enduring intrapersonal qualities having continuity • Adolescence – become more sensitive to opinions of others; sensitivity to self and others • Become more self-conscious • Use reflective appraisals • Question identity • Hold internalized view of generalized other (what the person understands about the society’s understanding about people’s roles) • Incorporate abstract concepts into the self – i.e. needs, desires, passions • More abstract motivations and personality characteristics • Extreme self-conscientiousness • In general, good self-concept and stable self-esteem (by adulthood) • Adults experience identity influences from personal characteristics and culture Means Through Which the Self-Concept Develops - The self-concept develops through o Others’ Images of You – reflective appraisal, what other people tell you about yourself Social Comparisons
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