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Chapter 3

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McGill University
PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter 3  The Social Self: o James:  Introduced self related concepts and distinctions  The Social Self= a book  Social me refers to the parts of self knowledge derived from social relationships  Person in one social context is often not the same in another context  Our sense of who we are is forged in our interactions with others o Three components  Individual self  Persons’ beliefs about his or her unique personal traits, abilities, preferences, tastes, talents  Relational self  Oneself in specific relationships  Collective self  Oneself as a member of the groups to which he belongs  Eg. Indian o Relational and collective selves include beliefs about the roles, duties and obligations each of us assume in specific relationships and groups  Origins of Self knowledge o Socialization agents: shape sense of self, also instructed by parents- the proper way to behave o Symbolic interactionist notion:  Know ourselves through imagining what others think of us o Reflected self-appraisals: our beliefs about what others think of our social selves o Reactions nad appraisals convey tous that we are competen, neurotic, have potential etc. we see ourselves partly through the eyes of those around us o We internalize how we think others appraise us. Not necessarily how others ACTUALLY see us o Our reflected self often do not correlate hughly with the appraisals that others actually make of us o Self-views affect reflected self0appraisals  What we think others see us as, affects how they see us and what we do o Pfeifer → activity in medial prefrontal cortex heightened during self-referential cognition- when people are asked to think about who they are  Brain region that support perspective takeing are also engaged- temporal parietal junction – because social perception is also involved in the way we think of ourselves o Young adolescents had greater activity relative to adults in neural systems, relevant to BOTH self-perception and perspective taking  Meaning, adolescents spontanerously relied on refleted self-appraisals when reporting how they think of themselves  Situationism and the Self o Social selfs shift dramatically from one situation to another o What determines the nature of contextual shifts in the sense of self?  Current situation  Rebelliou = sober around parents  Relazed with close friends = shy with new people o Markus and wurf:  Working self-concept:  Only a subset of person’s self-knowledge is brought to mind in any given context  Subset that is relevant int hat situation o McGuire and Singer:  What makes us unique in a given social situation?  STUDY:  Asked 6 graders to spend 7 min describing themselves  Statements referred to acitivties, friends, schools activities  Defined themselves according to how they differed fromt heir classmates o We sense we have a stable, core self o Reconciliation:  People may feel they are shy around random people, but she feels she’s a good listener no matter who she is around  Person’s overall pool of self-knowledge remains relatively stable over time= self continuity  Shift conform to a predictable stacle pattern  One who is confident around firnds, but insecure around her mother o Malleability of self = stable o Social self defined by:  It is malleable  Also has core components that persist across contexts  Culture and social self: o West = individuality  Freedom, self-expression o Culture based self conceptions influence elements of the social sefl = construal processes and self-esteem o Independent self-construal = WEST  Self = automonous entity that is distinct and deparate from others o Interdependent self-construals = EAST  Roles within community  Gender and the social self: o Cross and Madson:  Women in US tend to construe self in interdependent terms than men  Men in IS = prioritize difference and uniqueness o Women = refer to social characteristics and relationships, select pisc with other people in it, are more empathetic than men o Socialization guide women and men into differing self-construals o Media = portray men in positions of power and agency o Parents raise girls and bosy differently o Evolutionary history  Men = phsycially, spcyhologically for hunting and aggressive encounters with other groups  Women = nurturing the young  Social comparison o Social comparison theory  Leon Festinger : people compare themselves to other people in orde r to obtain accurate assessment of theirown opinions, abilities,and internal states  No point comparing yourself though:  Should compare yourself with people at your own level of skill  But we are biased= so we get attracted to people inferior than ourselves to make us feelbetter  Gives boost to our self-esteem o Sometimes by comparing with people better of, gives you an incentive to learn how they do it o Downward osical cmparision is more common o Upward social comparision  We do this when we aspire to become better at something o When we compare ourselves to a particular person, it becomes automatic  Something people don’t consciously do  Narratives about the social self: o McAdams  We continuously tell stories about ourselves  To integrate our many goals, make sense of conflict, to explain hwo we’ve changed over time o Cross cultural research  Vary across societies  Cohen and Gunz = Canadian and Asian students tell storeis about ten diff stiauations  Canadians more likely to reprocude sciece from their original point of view rd  Asians more likely to imagine scene asan observer might (3 person view)  Westerners = inside out (they are object of attention)  Easterners = outside in  Organziation of Self Knowledge: o Korsakoff’s syndrome = hardly remember things for too long, create diff identities about people you meet o Social self depends on ability to remember, to know who we are = self schemas  Cognitive structures derived from past experience → person’s beliefs and feelings bout the self in particular domains  Self-schemas o Each of us has a schemas representing our self-beliefs o Based on situations where they were relevant o Schemas= serve as organizing function of self knowledge  Attitudes, stereotypes, expectations= how we construe our world o Markus:  If self-schemas exist, person who has a self schema in that domain, will retrieve it more quickly and process info quickly and rapidly  STUDY=  Identified participants who were dependent or independent = schematic participants  Moderately independent people = aschematic  All returned to lab four weeks later and rathed how well they were described ny traits presented on screen  Schematic ppl judged schema-relevant trats as true or not true more quickly than aschematic ppl  Those ppl alsodemostrated such kinds of behaviour more quickly indicating self- shcemas influence our interpretation of incoming information o Also helps us remember info we ecounter o Info with reference to the self = processed more deeply and we remember it much better o Self-reference effect: info related to self is more thoroughly processed and integrated with existing self knowledge  Based on memory  STUDY: ppl presented with 40 trait words  for 10, ppl answered structural questions (big of small etc)  another 10, ppl answered phonemic questions  10 = answered semantic questions  10 = answered whether it described themselves  1 hour later= ppl asked to recall the 40 words  Info about self was remembered more easily  Self-complexity theory: o Sometimes people define themselves with a sign self schema= does it matter? o Linville=  Number of self-defining domains and the defree of overalp between diff self domains matters  Self-complexity: how complex a person’s self knowledge is measure by number of and degree of overlap between diff self schemas  People high in self complexity = multiple domains and non overlapping  Low in self complexity = fewer self defining domains and overlapping in content o One’s level of self complexity is important when dealing with negative events  Self esteem o Thought= elevating self esteem would cure society’s ills o Low self esteem = less satisfied with life, hopeless, depressed  Antisocial, o Raising self esteem = healthier, more resilient children and better society o Self esteem =  Positive or negative overall evaluation people have of themselves  Measure through self-report measures o Trait self esteem = person’s endruing level of self regard across time  Fairly stable o State self esteem = dynamic, changeable self-evaluations experienced as momentary feelings about the self  Changes from one context to the next o Self esteem shifts during diff stages of development  14 – 23, self esteem rises, female self esteem falls o Self worth  Crocker and wolfe = contingencies of self-worth  Self-esteem rises and falls with successes and failures in domains on which one has based their self-worth  Domains imp. For self esteem o Family support, school competence, competition, virtue, social approval, physical appearance, God’s love  Vary from person to person  Culture plays a big role as well = religion is more important to African-americans than to asian-americans or European-americans  If things are going well in our contingencies then self-esteem rises  STUDY= students had higher self-esteem when they got acceptance offers than when they got rejections (university of Michigan)  Important to base contingency in many different domains  Coping with failure may be easier among those who define self in terms of multiple
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