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Lecture 3

Course Code
Geoffrey Mac Donald

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Lecture 3: The Self
The social self
The self is constructed FROM YOUR RELATION WITH OTHERS
Western culture sees you as an independent SELF
Symbolic interactionism
oSeeing yourself through others eyes (Cooley): what you would look like to them
oUnderstanding self through interactions with others (Mead)
Chosen beliefs facilitate acceptance: private values are shaped by people around us
oFamily primes influences erotica evaluations (less liked about the erotic passages)
Self-esteem as gauge of acceptability: need to belong
Self-expansion = overlap between you and your partner
Growth through absorbing aspects of others
Including the other in self = expanding yourself
A)Identity: process partner as part of self
B)Resources: access to knowledge of your partner, material (you boyfriends car), social
C)Perspectives: seeing the world from new points of view AND their perspectives ABOUT
YOU that youve never recognized before
Unlike most contexts, people feel good after upward comparison with partners BECAUSE
you think your partner is PART OF YOURSELF
Confusing self and other
Falling in love broadens description of the self-concept
Cognitive confusion of self and partner
oSlower RT for unshared traits (b/c you assume that youre sharing traits)
oMistake self and partner in memory (difficult to distinguish whos got which traits)
Cycle of self-expansion
Rapid self-expansion in EARLY relationship stage fuels POSITIVE AFFECT
Positive emotion openness and exploration increased cognitive flexibility and
perspective taking more self-other overlap & complex understanding of others more
facets for self-expansion positive affect
Self-expansion and infidelity
Situational forces fuelling expansion WEAKEN
oAlternative relationships as a source of expansion
5 potentially unmet needs (intimacy, companionship, sex, security, emotional investment)
oAttempt to cheat on partner is related to SECURITY
Predicted susceptibility to infidelity
oControlling for the needs
oInclusion of other in self
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HENCE, satisfying growth and safety is the key to maintain long-term relationships!
Self-disclosure: the process of sharing your privacy with other people
Strong reciprocity norms
oOn the surface level: width increases more quickly than depth
oMay reveal LESS about you than you think
We feel we hold our values especially intensely BUT others dont see it that way (not
necessarily give much info or hard to convey the depth of values)
Increasing depth = trust
Fear of rejection = less disclosure
oLSE feel worse unvalued and unsupported after disclosing a failure to a romantic
oBut in reality, partners value (care) you more!
oDisclosing vulnerabilities can lead to doubts about authenticity of partners expressions of
Impression management
Not usually about lying; not try to deceive others but try to get others see what we see
oOnline dating: control over verbal cues and appearance; some inaccuracy to avoid
filtering (height, weight) BUT weak evidence of intentional lie (such as only half-inch
difference, scale difference etc.)
Self-presentation as communicating own view of self
oOverly positive self-view may give appearance of deception
oOnline misrepresentation due to inaccurate self-views and idealized versions of self
Positive illusion about ourselves: although not trying to deceive others yet they dont
think so
High: use social cues as guides for behavior, high social skills, knowledge, situation specific
behavior, higher impression management technique, social networks (different partners for
different activities, less committed/close to friends)
Low: use of inner states as guides for behavior, limited social skills and knowledge,
consistent behavior across situations, smaller social network with multiple activities, closer
and more committed relationships)
Self-monitoring and romantic relationships
oHigh: look for partner’s physical attractiveness, sex appeal, social status, financial
oLow: look for personality, similarity, honesty, responsibility, kindness
Initiating relationships
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