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Lecture 5

PSYB30 Lecture 5.docx

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Connie Boudens

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 book - 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- concept - 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 indicate
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