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Chapter 5- Self and Identity.pdf

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Connie Boudens

Chapter 5 Self and IdentityWho are you On a blank screen or piece of paper can you think of 20 answers to this question This was the exact task facing college student in a classic study Most of their responses to this Twenty Statements Test TST were of the form I am Students gave anywhere from 1 or 2 responses on up to the full 20 with a median of 17 responses This study illustrates that our selfconcepts are defined by the social world how we are similar to others and how we are unique compared to others We are constantly discovering creating defining and maintaining who we areemphasizing either our connections or our uniquenessand how we feel about ourselves through our interactions with the social worldSelfConceptSelf concept The set of ideas and inferences that you hold about yourself including your traits social roles schema and relationshipsHow Does the SelfConcept Develop We develop a sense of self out of physical development and cognitive maturation along with social experiencesChimpanzees and SelfRecognition Psychologist Gordon Gallup investigated this question in a series of experiment with chimpanzees He placed a fulllength mirror in a room with a chimpanzee and observed how the chimp responded to this mirror stimulation For the first 1or 2 days the chimps acted as if the reflection were another chimp showing otherdirected social responses such as bobbing vocalizing and threatening much the way a chimp would respond when confronting a strange chimp in the wild However very soon the chimps started to respond to the reflection in the mirror with selfdirected responses grooming places they couldnt normally see eg picking food out of their teeth entertaining themselves by blowing bubbles or making faces and so on But after about 10 days the chimps grew tired of this sport and adapted to the presence of the mirror This is when the real test beganThe were drugged and red paint was put on them and the mirror was taken out of the chamber They did not notice the paint Then they returned the mirror A it turned out chimps spent over 25 more time touching themselves And they spent about twice as much time touching their eyebrows than their ears However chimps that did not have the chance to adapt to the mirror did not pay any more attention to the marked areas of their bodies than to the nonmarked areas This suggests that selfrecognition must have been learned during their earlier experience with the mirror Gallup and others saw chimps selfdirected behaviors in this mirror test as evidence of selfrecognition
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