PSY210 Ch.11 Self .docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Justin Mc Neil

PSY210 Ch.11 Self & Social Understanding 12/14/2012 8:47:00 AM Social cognition 1. Emergence of self and development of self-concept 2. Self esteem 3. Identity construction 4. Thinking of others 5. Thinking of relations between people Social cognition: towards metacognitive understanding  Concrete  abstract  Becomes better organized  More complex causes of behaviour are understood over time 1. Emergence of self and development of self-concept William James: the complementary I-self and me-self  The I-self (me = knower/actors) active observations lend knowledge and control over ones: o self-awareness o self-continuity o self-coherence o self-agency  The me-self (sense of self as = object of knowledge + evaluation) o Material, psychological and social characteristics Self-awareness  Beginning of the I-self o Newborns = stronger rooting reflex to physical stimulation from others (than self-stimulation – hand on cheek) o Intermodal perception – baby differentiates themselves from objects/people in their surroundings by e.g. hearing themselves cry. o Realization that their own actions cause objects/people to react in predictable ways.  Linked to secure attachment parenting style o Contrast between self and other objects/people = realization of difference between self and social world.  Beginnings of the me-self o Awareness of self’s physical features (me vs. someone else when facing themselves in the mirror – Ex. Red dye on nose) o Self-recognition (Age 2) o Fostered with sensitive care-giving  Secure-attachment parenting Self-awareness + early emotional and social development:  Self-awareness =  self-consciousness, perspective, empathy, peer imitation, sense of ownership (MINE!), cooperation, games  The categorical self = classifying others on the basis of age/gender/physical characteristics/goodness or badness  Remembered self = autobiographical memory, life-story narrative = coherence of self  Story telling from parentchild = view of self, cultural values The inner self: Young children’s Theory of Mind  A coherent understanding of their own and others mental lives  Inner self awareness of private thoughts and imaginings of self and others. = this understanding explains behaviour of others  Desire theory of mind: Young infants think that people always act in ways consistent with their desires and do not understand that less obvious, more interpretive mental states such as beliefs, also affect behaviour. o Perception + emotion + desire  “you want to see how he cried”  Due to more language being used at age 3. o Desires = Actions  Belief-desire theory of mind: a more sophisticated view in which both beliefs + desires determine actions (Age 4+) o Beliefs + Desires = Actions o Understanding of the relationship between inner states  Efforts to alter others beliefs’ increases = children realize the power of belief to influence action  False-beliefs (ones that do not represent reality accurately) can guide peoples behaviour. (Ex. Band- aide box + puppet task)  Mastery of false belief = a change in representation = the ability to view beliefs as interpretations, not just reflections of reality.  Second-order beliefs: Awareness that people form beliefs about other peoples beliefs  Helps children to understand others’ perspectives, and how they arrived at their own beliefs.  Consequences of belief-desire reasoning: o Understanding others beliefs and desires = more sociable interactions o More advanced social skills = better results of child on false- belief task o Advances in make-believe play o More accurate eye witness memories after age 6, due to fale- belief task recognition that ones beliefs can affect another. o Advances in persuasion – changing the belief of others  Factors contributing to infants Theory of Mind: o Language  (reflection on thoughts, false-belief), o cognitive abilities  (inhibit inappropriate responses, think flexibly, and plan), o Maternal “mind-mindedness”  (secure attachment, “do you remember/want/like/…” = by mother to child = better results on theory of mind tasks like false-belief tasks) o make-believe play,  (to know belief influences behaviour even in abstract contexts, better able to reason about a fictional situation = more likely to pass false-belief tasks) o social experiences  (infants with siblings = more aware of false-belief, mental-state talk, interaction with older more mature people)  Children with autism = deficient theory of mind, difficulty with false-beliefs, difficulty in attributing mental states to others/themselves (believe, think, know, feel, pretend).  Self-concept: the set of attributes, abilities, attitudes and values that an individual believes defines who he/she is. o Preschoolers  = concrete self-concepts. Based mainly on observable characteristics (name, physical appearance, possessions, everyday behaviours). o Mid childhood  = shift from typical behaviours/internal states  general dispositions. Competencies instead of specific behaviours. Mention of both positive and negative traits. Social comparisons (judging their appearance, abilities and behaviour in relation to peers). o Early adolescence  = separate traits are unified into abstract descriptors like “intelligent”, Contradictory generalizations of self (due to social pressures to display different selves in different relationships) o Late adolescence  = Traits are combined + organized now too. Reasons based on different relationships with others are given for earlier seemingly contradictory generalizations. Social virtues are emphasized = preoccupation to be viewed positively by others. Personal and moral values = key themes in older adolescents  Cognitive, social and cultural influences on self-concept: o Cog = structuring of the self gets better with age and cog abilities. Formal operational adolescences = complex, well- organized, internally consistent self-concept o Social = Changing content = due to feedback from others. The self as a generalized other, a blend of what we imagine important people in our lives think of us. Perspective-taking skills. Ideal vs. real self. o Cultural = resources of self-definition expand with age and being exposed to the community around them. Collective vs. individualistic. 2. Self-esteem: Evaluating self-concept  Self-esteem: another component of self-concept, based on the judgments we make about our own worth and the feelings associated with those judgments. o Important part of emotional and self-development.  Structure of self-esteem: o Self-evaluations of general self-esteem: academic competence, social competence, physical/athletic competence, and physical appearance.  Changes in self-esteem = social comparisons  Influences of self-esteem: affects relationships, valuing various activities + success at them. o Culture: Asian cultures, girls + sense of self-worth, African- Americans, belonging. o Parenting: warm, positive, not overly controlling styles of parenting good for self-esteem. Such a thing as too much self-esteem boosted by parents? = lower achievement levels, antisocial, ego.  Bidirectional relationship: self-esteem & achievement  Attributions: our common everyday explanations for causes of behaviour. o Causes: External/environmental or internal/psychological o Ability vs. Effort o Achievement motivation: the tendency to persist at challenging tasks = explains why some less intelligent students do better.  Emergence: Age 3, infants make attributions about their successes/failures which affect their expectancies of success, which influence their willingness to try hard in the future. o Preschoolers = “learning optimists” see their ability as high, task difficulty as low, = positive expectancies of success. o Non-persisters – associate failure with punishment, their self- worth is based on the judgment of others not inner standards.  Mastery orientated vs. Learned helplessness o With age = improved reasoning, ability to distinguish ability, effort and external factors to explain their performance. o High in achievement motivation = mastery-orientated attributions  Success = ability, improvement = hard work.  Incremental view of ability  it can be altered through effort!  So they attribute failures to factors that can be changed/controlled!  Focus on learning goals: increasing their ability through effort and seeking info on how to do so. o Low in achievement motivation = learned helplessness  Failures are attributed to ability (instead of successes).  When they succeed, they think its due to external events like luck.  Entity view of ability  it cannot be changed , even with hard work.  Failure to connect effort with success = lack of effective learning strategies, reduced persistence, and a sense of loss of control sustain one another in a vicious cycle.  Focus on performance goals: obtaining positive and avoiding negati
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