PSYC 241 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Motivation

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PSYC241 – Chapter 5: The Self: Understanding Ourselves in a Social Context
- Identity made up of 2 parts:
- Self-Concept: our knowledge about who we are
- Self- Awareness: the act of thinking about ourselves
- toddlers develop self-concept around 18 months
- as we grow older, our self-concept improves from describing ourselves in physical
characteristics to emotional/personality characteristics
- the self serves 4 main functions: self-knowledge, self-control, self-presentation, self-
justification
Self Knowledge
Cultural Differences in Defining the Self:
-Independent View of the Self: way of defining oneself in terms of ones own
internal thoughts, not other peoples (Western view)
-Interdependent View of the Self: way of defining oneself in terms of ones
relationships with other people; recognizing that ones behaviour is often
determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others (Non-western view)
(independence and uniqueness frowned upon)
Gender Differences in Defining the Self
- Women have more relational interdependence (focus more on their close
relationships), men have more collective interdependence (focus on their
memberships in larger groups – eg. A fraternity, or Americans as a collective)
- Women from a young age are more likely to focus on intimacy and cooperation
with a small number of close others and thus more likely to discuss personal
topics and disclose their emotions than men
Knowing Ourselves Through Introspection
- Even when we do introspect, the reasons for our feelings and behaviours may be
hidden from the conscious
-Focusing on the Self: Self-Awareness Theory:
oThe idea that when we evaluate ourselves, we become objective,
judgmental observers of ourselves, seeing ourselves as an outside observer
would. Makes us aware of the disparity between our behaviour and our
internal standards and values
oIf we think we can change our behaviours to match our internal standards
of ourselves, we change them. If we think we can’t change our behaviours
to match our internal standards, we try to avoid thinking about
it/introspecting.
oSelf awareness can be good because it reminds you of your morals/ideals
oSince non-western cultures have a self-perspective that is more dependent
on how others see them, they are said to be in a chronic state of self-
awareness (always seeing themselves through other peoples eyes)
-Judging Why We Feel the Way We Do: Telling More Than We Can Know:
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