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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 The Self

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Connie Boudens

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.” In modern terms, we refer to the known aspect is the self concept, and the knower aspect as self-awareness. These two aspects of the self combine to create a coherent sense of identity: Charles Horton Cooley: The Looking Glass Self Self can’t be understood in isolation--must be studied in interaction with others Self is not an inherent property of human nature, but a socially-constructed entity Sense of self is built upon seeing ourselves through the eyes of others Self-Concept • All the beliefs people have about the self • Organizes and provides coherence for how we experience the self • Provides sense of continuity Development of Self-Concept • Child’s self-concept is concrete, with observable characteristics • Becomes more complex with age. • more emphasis on psychological states,opinions of others How does self-concept develop? How does self-concept develop? • Private sense of self develops • More concrete self-concept How does self-concept develop? • More abstract motivations and personality characteristics • Extreme self-conscientiousness • In general, good self-concept and stable self-esteem Means Through Which the Self-Concept Develops Others’Images of You Social Comparisons a. Superior/Inferior b. Same/Different Culture Your Own Interpretations & Experiences Cultural Differences in Defining the Self In many Western cultures, people have an independent view of the self. In contrast, manyAsian and other non-Western cultures have an interdependent view of the self. Possible Selves • Our hopes and fears of what we might become • Markus • Feared Self • Desired Self • Higgins • Actual • Ought • Ideal Evaluativ
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