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Lecture 2

PSY220H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Mark Leary, Positive Illusions, Optimism Bias

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Jason Plaks

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PSY220 Lecture 2 The Self Jan. 16, 2017
The self: an individual consciousness of one’s own identity
Conscious experience of who we are, traits, social identities
Feelings, observations, and thoughts
Self awareness: Awareness of the Self as an entity that is distinct from others and
the environment
Tested with the Mark Test (Rouge Test)
oPut mark on your face, put you in front of mirror, if you try to wipe
mark of their face, then you have self awareness
oNot every species’ primary sense is sight therefore the Mark Test is
more relevant for species who rely on sight
oSome animals might not think mark is abnormal
Levels of Self
Minimal self: conscious experience of the Self as distinct from the
Objectified self: cognitive capacity to serve as the object of one’s own (or
others attention)
Symbolic Self: ability to form an abstract mental representation of oneself
through language
Inherently Social: sense of self come from others, incorporate traits from people
around us
Self-concept: your concept of who you are
Everything you know about yourself, qualities, identities, roles etc.
Measuring the self-concept
Twenty Statements Test (TST)
oPersonality descriptors
oSocial roles
Two types of self-concepts
Independent self-concept: self defined as unique from others
oDominant in western cultures
Interdependent self-concept: self defined by relationships with others
oDominant in Eastern cultures
Self-schema: cognitive representation of the Self-Concept
The concepts/ words in your semantic network that are associated with your
sense of Self
Guides processing of self-related information
Measuring the Self-Schema
Implicit personality test
Markus (1977)
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o101 college students, all female, personality trait shows up, people
classify it as “me” or “not me”
ogrouped people into independent, aschematics, dependents
independent: leader/individualist
dependent: follower/conformist
oresults: when classifying traits related to independence, dependents
were slow at classifying any trait to do with independence
Self-complexity: the depth and complexity of your Self-concept
Operationalized as the number of distinct aspects used to define the Self-
Global vs. Contextualized self
Global self concept: I am…
Contextualized Self-concept: I am… when…
Buffers negative feelings after failure
Working self-concept: a subset of your self-concept that is presently accessible
Recently primed aspects of Self
Contextually distinctive aspects
“Central” aspects of Self
Self-Concept Centrality: some aspects of the Self-Concept are more personally
important to you than others
“Central” aspects are chronically accessible in the semantic network
Measuring self-concept centrality
odifferent degrees of centrality to one’s self concept (closer to inner of
the circle)
oself-evaluative maintenance
Self evaluative maintenance: if someone close to you outperforms you in a
particular domain:
ofeel threatened if the domain is central to your self-concept
distance self from relationship
distance self from task domain
obe proud if the domain is not central to your self-concept
vicarious self-esteem boost
magnitude of self-esteem boost proportional to closeness of
oromantic relationship: still feel proud, not threatened if domain is
central incorporated someone else into their identity
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