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Lecture 5

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Personality Psychology, Hazel Rose Markus, Personality Disorder

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Connie Boudens

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PSYB30 - Lecture 5 - The Self - February 13th 2013
Comprises of what we know about ourselves in personality psychology
William James (father of American Psychology) 2 Perspectives on the Self
Duality of our perception of the self
1) Self concept
Thoughts and beliefs about ourselves: "Known"/me (e.g. getting feedback)
2) Self-awareness
Active processor of information "Knower"/I (e.g. when you reflect on your processes)
- These combine to create a coherent sense of identity
- Metaphor: Self is both a book (full of content collected overtime) and the reader (I) of that
- Hasn't always been the case that people think about the self
- Tendency to think about ourselves as a self-contained autonomous unit that can act on the
environment and have certain characteristics in which we define ourselves
- Lack of social/geographic mobility, where you were born in (i.e. society) is uncontrollable by
you it's about the role in this particular context regardless on individuality
- Idea of self as separate autonomous being is a recent idea
Charles Horton Cooley: Looking Glass Self
- He was a sociologist - everything that he looked at or considered had to do with the realm of
the social
- Self can't be understood in isolation - must be studied in interaction with others
- Who you are is composed of or formed by the interactions you have with other people
- Self is not an inherent property of human nature but a socially constructed entity
- Concept of self constructed by society as a whole
- Our sense of self is built upon seeing ourselves thru the eyes of others
Table 5.1
- How sense of self develops with normal human development
- Rouge/Mirror Test - developing self-awareness
Self Concept
- All the beliefs have about the self
Things about self you believe are true
- Network of ideas that organize and provide coherence of how we experience the self
- Provides sense of continuity (e.g. multiple personality disorders don't have such
continuity/severe cases of amnesia)
Development of Self Concept
- Child's self-concept is concrete with observable characteristics (i.e. hobbies, favourite things to
eat) they'll probably tell you their age, where they live, etc.
- becomes more complex with age
More emphasis on thoughts and feelings/psychological states, opinions with others
- Private sense of self
- More concrete self-concept as age increases
- Birth to 1 year
Develop physical awareness
- 2-3 years
Recognize in mirror and pictures
Use language to demonstrate self-awareness
- 3-4 years
Develop skills, abilities
Use personality traits in description of self and other
- 5-6 years
Make comparison with peers
Differences between themselves and others
What are the personality traits that distinguish me from another?
Private sense of self develops, things that they don't necessarily need to share with other people
Have a self-awareness and consciousness that they don't have to share with people
Start to develop relationships based the shared intimacy, self disclosure about things that
people may not know
Hopes and fears of problems they might be having
They have a more concrete self-concept
- 9-10 years
In childhood years, they begin to understand traits as having continuity, which is part of the self
Recognize and understand traits as enduring intra personal qualities
- Adolescents
Feel sensitive to self and others, opinions of other people
Become more self conscious
Use reflective appraisals, which is the idea of other people having an opinion of them and being
aware of what that opinion is, sort of like looking glass
More abstract motivations and personality characteristics
Extreme self-conscientiousness
Actively/implicitly questioning identity
Hold internalized view of generalized other - what the person understands as the common
understandings in society of people's roles, sort of the internalization of the expectations of
such roles but a bit broader
You're concerned of society's expectations of you and you try to incorporate that into your self-
- Adults
Stable self-concept/self-esteem
Experience identity influences from personal characteristics and culture
Means through which the self-concept develops
- Others' images of you
(E.g. looking glass self, reflective appraisals, what people tell you about yourself)
- Social comparisons
Superior/inferior; Same/different
- Culture
- Own interpretations and experiences
Cultural Differences in Defining the Self
- Western culture
independent view of the self - a way of defining oneself in terms of one's own internal thoughts,
feelings, and actions and not in terms of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of other people
Define themselves as quite separate from others
Value independence and uniqueness
- In contrast, many Asian and other non-Western cultures
Interdependent view of the self - a way of defining oneself in terms of one's relationships to
other people; recognizing that one's behaviour is often determined by the thoughts, feelings,
and actions of others
(E.g. the "I am" Questionnaire)
- Connectedness and interdependence between people is valued, whereas independence and
uniqueness are frowned on
- Research indicates that the various states in America are different in the way that people
construe themselves
Table 5.3
Possible Selves
- Our hopes and fears of what we might become
- Growing of area in research
- Research indicates that possible selves can be used to make a change in a person's self-concept
and to inspire the activities that the person engages in
- Hazel Markus
feared self - fears of what you might become if you continue down a particular path, or
worst-case scenario that might happen to you
desired self - what you want to become
these two selves aren't always salient
- Higgins
actual: who you are
ought: who society believes you should be
ideal: who you would like to be
Evaluative component of the self: Self Esteem
- your evaluation of yourself, worthy/unworthy, good/not good
- can be different in different areas of life
- can have higher self-esteem in academic stuff versus social self or classroom self vs. night club