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Social Psych - Sept 17.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Christian Jordan

The Self Sept 17/2012 Duality of the Self  The “I” (subjective consciousness) o Active information processor o The knower o Sense of agency – part of you that is engaging, responding to/with environment  The “Me” (an object of consciousness) o Conceptualization of yourself o Self-concept o The known o Beliefs about the self that result from treating oneself as an object of perception o Comes from treating ourselves as an object of perception  Hard to scientifically study of the “I” b/c once you study it becomes objective not subjective Self-Concept and self-esteem  Self-concept o Out thoughts about ourselves o Cognition, beliefs  Self-esteem o Our evaluations of ourselves o Beliefs about our own value and worth o Feelings of liking or disliking ourselves  These two things easily blur together Self-Concept  Personal identity o Physical attributes, beliefs, traits, abilities o E.g. political views, relative intelligence etc.  Social identity o Social groups and social roles o Family, race, gender, school, etc. o Social identity theory Flexibility of the self-concept  There is stability in our self-views o Think of self as being stable  see yourself as the same person as you were the day before o Even if you change you have a stable perception of yourself  But there is also flexibility o E.g. Working self-concept o Network of interrelated beliefs  Only some aspects are important, stable  core-self  In different settings different subset of qualities that define yourself in that context  If you ask someone about themselves/their core values, will say different qualities depending on setting or context  way of how we view ourselves can shift regularly Context Matters  Context determines identity salience  Social distinctiveness o Minority identity often salient  E.g. if Asian woman is in meeting with 5 men  identifies with being female, if Asian woman is in meeting with 5 white women  identifies with being Asian Structure of the self-concept  Self-complexity (Linville, 1987): whether people think about themselves as having may distinct identities o Assessed using a card-sorting task  60-80 index cards w/ adjectives  Have to take the ones they think they describe them and sort them in the diff identities they have o High complexity if:  Many identities/tasks  Little overlap across identities (distinct, unique characteristics) o Helps buffer against diversity  Table 5.1  People w/ high complexity – setbacks/failure won’t harm other identities o Less prone to depression  Low complexity – less resilient to setback/failure  Structure of self-concept has large impact on our psychology Cultural differences in self-concept  Individualist self (independent) o Emphasis on the individual, including rights, independence, and differences from other individuals o Strive for uniqueness (“stand out”) o “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”  Collectivist self (interdependent) o Emphasis on the group and interrelatedness with others, including relationships, roles, duties o Strive for social harmony (“fit in”
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