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Chapter 5

PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Brandon University, Serah, Hominidae

Course Code
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

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Introduction: The Self
Discussion of process by which people come to know themselves and how evalaute this
The Origins of the Self
- Some studies suggest other species have at least rudimentary sense of self
o Plae io i aial’s age util aila eoes failia ith it
o Animal then anaesthetized and red dye painted on brow or eear
o When wake up
Members of great ape family immediately touch area of heads marked
with spot but lesser apes do not so chimps, orgautans have rusimentary
o Also found in dolphins, Asian elephant, two magpies
- Researchers at Dalhousie, SFU, other American unis have used variations of rougue test
with humans and found that self-recognition develops around 18 to 24 months of age
- As grow older, self-concept becomes more complex
o As mature, place less emphasis on physical characteristics, more on
psychological states, traits or characteritcis and considerations of how other
people judge us
- 3 aspects of self
o self-knowledge = our beliefs about who we are and how we formulae and
organize info
o self-contrl = way make plans and excute decisions
o self-esteem = how we evaluate ourselves
The Content of the self: self schemas
- SELF SCHEMAS = an organized body of knowledge about the self that influences what
people notice, think and remember about themselves
- Schemas can also bias memory processes
o Study at Waterloo by Ziva Kunda found that our desire to see ourselves in
positive light can influence which of our past actions remember 1 study,
participants told research shows that trait of introversion associated with
professional success, other told extraversion and all then asked list behaviours
had performed relevant to intro/extra
those how thought introversion associated with success more likely
remember introverted traits had performed, vice versa
so when people motivated see selves as possessing desired quality,
conduct selective memory serach for exmaples past behaviours
consistent with it
o study at Western confirms Peters, Gawronski found when asked remember
times behaved as extraverts or led to believe is superior be extraverted, we
incorporate into self-concept and vice versa
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Self Concept Clarity = extent to which knowledge about self is stable and clearly and
consistently defined
- has important cognitive and emotional implications
- study Campell at UBC found that people who are low in self-concept clarity tend have
low self-esteem, prone depression, more neurotic, less aware of their internal states
and also tend engage in chronic self-analysis and rumination (= involuntary, negative
form self-focus associated with threat or uncertainty) also less likely engage in positive
form of self-focus like reflection
- link between low self-concept clarity and low self esteem found with diverse samples
- recent study mothers confirmerd people more likely experience depression
o association between low self-concept clarity and depression strongest for
women with low self-esteem
- study at Brandon University low clarity more likely engage self-handicapping
- having clear sense of self correlated with many positive outcomes
o study uni studients in 42 countries found higher clarity associated with higher life
satisfaction and well-being stronger for people from individualistic cultures
o uni Manitoba Johnson, Nozick found self concept clarity associated with self-
Cultural differences in defining the self
- many Western cultures, people have an INDEPENDENT VIEW OF THE SELF = defing
oself i tes of oe’s o iteal thoughts, feeligs, atios ad ot othes’
- many Asian, other collectivist cultures have INTERDEPDENTDENT VIEW OF SELF =
defiig oeself i tes of oe’s elatioships to othe people behaviour
determined by thoughts, feelings, actions others
- Asian kind, accepting, loyal, Canadians exciting personality, physically attractive
- Complete setees ith I a – Asians more likely refer social groups
- Not everyone from culture has independent/interdependent view of self within
cultures differences and differences likely increase as contact between cultures increase
- Campell administered self-concept clarity scale to Canadian and Japanese students
o Japansese have lower self concept clarity and not as stronglu linked to self-
Gender Differences in Defining the Self
- Woe’s self oept eflet oe RELATIONAL INTERDEPENCE = fous ore on their
close relationships ex. How feel about partner, friend
- Me’s self oept eflet oe COLLECTIVE INTERDEPENDENCE = ted defie
themselves in terms of social groups they belong
- When asked describe pos/neg emotional event, women tend to mention relationship
events and men mention events involving groups (team played on lost)
- Waterloo found women rate relational traits as more self-descriptive than men
- I a test at Ui Maitoa  Joh Adai – women found hold more relational view of
self but only in indiualist cultures but in collectivist, women and men equally likely hold
relational view
Knowing Ourselves Through Introspection
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- INTROSPECTION = process whereby people look inward and examine own thoughts,
feelings, motives
o People do’t el o this soue ifo as ofte as thik
o Even when people do introspect, reasons for their feelings and behaviour can be
hidden from conscious awareness
Focusing on the self: self-awareness theory
- SELF AWARENESS THEORY = idea that when people focus attention on themselves, they
evaluate and compare their behaviour with their internal standards and values
triggered by something in enviro
o Become self-conscious in that become objective, judgmental observers of self
- If feel that a’t hage ehaiou, eig i state self-awareness will be uncofmratble
because confronted with disagreeable feedback so take steps alleviate
- Study Sophia Mskalenko, Steven Heine told some particpants had done porrly on task
tahte reflected level of intelligence, others well participants given failure feedback
highly motivated escape self-awareness and most likely pay attention video on in room
- Alcohol abuse, bing eating, suicide = all effective ways turning internal spotlight away
- Not all means escaping are damaging soeties elgio, epeiee of flo
- Self-focus not always unpleasant
o Can highlight success
o Can keep out of trouble by reminding right and wrong study, when self-ware
like in front mirror more likely follow moral standards
- Cultural differences in self-awareness
o East Asians more likely have an outsider perspective on self
May be in chronic state self-wareness bevause more likely be seeing
selves through eyes others so less influenced by cues like mirror
o Westerners more likely have insider perspective on self
o Study Steven Heine found Americans who rated selves with mirror present
oe dissatisfied ith theseles tha ith o io ut fo Japaese did’t
fifer mirror there or not
Second study, found Can uni students placed in front mirror less likely
cheat but no impact on Japanese
Judging why we feel the way we do: telling more than can know
- Often aware of final result (are in love) but often unaware cognitive processing that led
- Ee though ofte do’t ko h feel, alas oe up ith easo Nisbett, Wilson
pheoeo = tellig oe tha e ko = eause people’s eplaatios of thei
feelings and behaviour often go beyond what can reasonably know
- Study uni students ask keep jounal mood for 5 weeks and also things that might affect
daily moods and end 5 weeks, estimate how much mood related to other things
o Wilson found most cases, people wrong about what predcietd mood
- Similar study McFarlane, Martin, Williams students at UBC keep track moods every
day for 70 days and later asked recall what moods had been
o Found remembered more positive moods on weekends, bluer Mondays than had
actually experienced
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