PERSONALITY EXAM REVIEW 12/12/2011 9:29:00 AM
CHAPTER 14- APPROACHES TO THE SELF
Self-concept (understanding of yourself)
Development of the self concept
o Infancy distinguish self as distinct from world around us
Awareness of ones body
18 months: self recognition (required for pretend play)
ex. Recognition in mirrors
o 2-3 identify with own age/sex, then with own family
identify self in photos
recognize people have expectations for them (ex. Rules)
develop sense of self relative to standards
o 3-12 based on talents & skills (someone who can do this/cant do this)
5-6 social comparison & awareness of private self
evaluate self in comparison with others
realize private self (can lie, keep secrets- hidden self)
perspective taking: ability to take others perspectives, to step
outside oneself and imagine who one appears to others.
objective awareness: seeing oneself as an object of others
Shyness: chronic objective awareness
o Evaluation apprehension:
Shyness Want interaction but held back by insecurity
Social anxiety Discomfort during interactions or anticipation of
o Social anxiety disorder:
Significant fear in 1+ social/performance situations
The fear is of social humiliation/embarrassment
Exposure to this situation leads to high anxiety
Person views fear as excessivm e/unreasonable
The anxiety causes impairment in 1+ areas of life
o Treating social anxiety disorder:
Challenge thought distortions
Exposure to fearful situations (gradual) Self-Schemata:
o Self schemata Cognitive representation of the self-concept, based on
past experience, guide the processing of information about self. (key in
o Possible selves Schema for future selves, ideas about what they might
become/hope to become/fear of becoming.
inspiration for future behaviour
allow us to stay on schedule, work towards self-improvement.
o self guides standards one uses to organize info and motivate appropriate
1) ideal self what a person wants to be
built on ones own desires/goals
promotion focus leads you to focus on achievement/goal
2) ought self understanding of what others want them to be.
Built on responsibilities & commitments to others
Prevention focus leads you to focus on avoiding harm &
seeking safety (relief).
Conflict between 2 selves can cause depression, disappointment,
Self-esteem (how you feel about who you are from evaluation of ones self)
o On a good-bad or like-dislike dimension
o Varies temporally, but has average
o Varies by area of life or aspect of self
Development of self esteem:
o Childhood re: expectations
o Later childhood re: social comparison
o Internal standards re: self concept
Reactions to Criticisms & failure feedback:
o Following failure feedback:
Low self-esteem poorer performance & give up
High self-esteem try as hard & less likely to give up
o Following failure in 1 area:
Low self-esteem generalize failure to other areas High self-esteem focus on successes in other areas
Self-complexity have many roles/aspects of our self-concept
o High self-complexity failure in one aspect is buffered by all the other
events that remain unaffected
o Low self-complexity failure in one aspect is much more devastating
since it is much more defining to themselves.
Protecting vs enhancing self:
o High self-esteem enhance self concept through risk taking & striving for
o Low self-esteem protect self concept by avoiding failure
Defense pessimism when a person faces a challenge they
expect to do poorly
impact of failure is lessoned if expected in advance
Use worry to motivate themselves to work on what
theyre pessimistic about.
Self-handicapping person deliberately does things to
increase the probability that they will fail.
Can provide an excuse for failing.
o Self esteem variability magnitude of short-term fluctuations in self-
esteem, due to ones self-worth of daily life events.
Researchers make a distinction between level & variability of self
Variability is related to the extent which ones self-evaluation is
changeable. (some peoples self-esteem is changed by life events
more than others).
o High variability related too..
Enhanced sensitivity to social evaluation events
Increased concern about self view
Over rely on sources of evaluation
React to evaluation with anger/hostility.
Body dysmorphic disorder: Kayla o Preoccupation with imagined deficit in appearance (or excessive
concern about an actual anomaly) causing marked distress & impairment.
o BDD: cross culture comparison
Compare US vs German students on BDD
no difference in rate of BDD
US students reported more body image concerns &
Poor body estee & self esteem associated with symptoms of
anxiety & depression in both groups
still unclear whether these symptoms preceded or come
o self esteem & BDD
examine self esteem among 93 BDD patients
patients with BDD had very low self esteem & more
link between low self esteem & BDD accounted for by major
still unclear whether low self esteem leads to BDD or are
a consequence of it.
Social Identity (your presentation of yourself to others, relatively enduring)
2 Key features:
o 1) Continuity stability in who you are
o 2) Contrast aspects of identity that make you different
Identity crisis Anxiety about defining ones individuality & social reputation
o 2 forms of identity crises:
1) identity deficits when identity not adequately formed, leads to
vulnerabilities in decision making
trouble making major decision because has no inner-
Often occurs when someone discards old values/goals.
Vulnerable to persuasion (ex. Cults)
2) identity conflicts incompatibility between 2+ aspects of ones