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Lecture 3

Lecture Three

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Western University
Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

THE SELF September 23 , 2013 “There are three things extremely hard: Steel, a Diamond, and to Know one’s Self.” - Benjamin Franklin Part One: The Self-Concept • (1) Large set or attributes that are linked together: o Personal dispositions o Physical characteristics o Preferences (likes/dislikes), & values o All of the beliefs that we have about the self • (2) Many different selves (roles) • (3) Some attributes are associated with one self • (4) Some attributes are more basic and enduring across situations/roles o Basic personality traits • (5) Potential selves (ought self and ideal self) Part Two: The Origins of the Self-Concept • Social Comparison processes (page. 180) • Feedback from others (page. 182) • The Social Context (page. 182) • Cultural Values (pages. 182-184) • Our Behavior: We are what we do o Self Perception Theory (Bem) A. Basic Idea: “When internal cues are weak or ambiguous, we come to know who we are by observing our behavior and the circumstances in which the behavior occurs.” • When internal cues are weak or ambiguous, we are not confident B. The effects of rewards on self-perceptions • Sometimes rewards can undermine our interest in performing a behavior. o 1. A folktale  Ex: Elderly man paying kids to come back and play everyday for less money each day…they don’t come back after a few days o 2. The Overjustification Effect:  When people are given external rewards (or external “justifications”) for engaging in intrinsically interesting activities, their intrinsic interest will be undermined. o 3. An exception to the over justification effect:  Doesn’t occur when rewards are viewed as a sign of competence (e.g., when rewards indicate superior performance, a job well-done) Part Three: Becoming Aware of the Self Self-Awareness Theory A. Factors that increase self-awareness: • Mirrors, • Audiences, • Cameras, • Watching/hearing ourselves on videotape, • Walking into a room full of strangers, • Being in a brightly lit room B. Self-awareness leads to self-evaluation: • Become aware of internal self standards (e.g., the “ideal” self) • 2. Compare current behavior to standards: o If meeting ideal standards, we feel good; o If not, we feel uncomfortable. • Motivated to reduce uncomfortable state C. How? Either (1) “Shape up” or (2) “Ship out” • (1) Shaping Up: o Reduce discrepancy between actual-ideal self (try to meet the ideal standards)  “Matching to standards” o Research examples:  The “shock study” (males shock females) • Males were less likely to shock the females when the mirror was present (not when they were self aware) • They were trying to live up to their ideal self (wrong to hurt others) • If they shocked the women, they would feel uncomfortable • Maybe the mirror was distracting? No. • Second part of study: When they were
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