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Chapter 4

Adol Ch4 Self.pdf

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 355
Martin Davidson

Ch4. The Self, Identity, Emotion, Personality February-16-13 7:37 PM I. The Self • Self: all of the characteristics of a person • Seen as central aspect of personality A. Self-understanding ○ Self understanding:P's cognitive representation of self, substance & content of self- conceptions  Ex. Student, football player, familymember, video gamelover, etc. ○ Important dimensions of adol & e-adults' self-understanding  Abstraction and idealism-- more likelyto use idealisticterms to describe themselves  Differentiation -- include situational variationsin describing themselves(with family vs. with friends)  Fluctuating self -- self is characterized as instable(switching between different selves)  Contradictions within the self-- into multipleroles in different contexts; can be ugly & beautiful, caring & uncaring, etc.  Real vs. ideal, true vs. falseselves-- detect discrepancy between actual self and ideal self (person they want to be) □ Possibleself: what P might become, what they would liketo be or afraid of being □ More likelyto show false selfto classmate/partner (to impressothers?)  Social comparison -- beliefthat he/she isviewedby others (looking glass self) □ But won't admitit b/c they believeit'll endangertheir popularity  Self-consciousness -- preoccupied with self understanding □ More introspective & turn to friends for support  Self protection -- protect selfby denying negativecharacteristic  Unconscious self -- recognizing unconscious sideof self  Not quite coherent/integrated self-- haven't yet integratedvarying self-conceptions  Emerging adulthood and adulthood -- detect inconsistenciesfrom earlier→ more integrated selfunderstanding □ Increase in self-reflection;easilyinfluenced by emotions → too self serving/protective ○ Self understanding and social context  Identity may differdepending on social context/roles  Ethnically diverseyouth maymove between culture (language,immigration,poverty, racism, gender) □ Difficulty in this maylead to alienation/isolation  Need to take culture into account when understanding identity(selvesare cultural specific) □ Ex. Describe self in relationwith others, including future self(self improvement) B. Self-esteem and Self-concept ○ Self-esteem: global evaluativedimensionof self (referred to as self-worth/image ○ Self-concept:domain specific evaluation of self  Ex. Academic self-concept vs. athletic self-concept ○ Measuring self-esteem/-concept  Past measures focused on children/adults  Adolescent version: scholastic competence, athletic competence , social acceptance,  Adolescent version: scholastic competence, athletic competence , social acceptance, physical appearance, behavioural conduct, close friendship, romantic appeal, job competence, global self-worth  Combinationof methods are recommended → self report, behavioural observation → ask teachers, peers, parents, etc.  Ex. Facial expressionmay reflect self-worth ○ Self-esteem:perception and reality  Self-esteem may not match/reflect reality  Narcissism: self-centered, self-concerned approach toward others □ Unawareof actual self and how others perceivethem → adjustment problem □ Viewtheir needs > others ; rarelyempathetic towards others (devaluate others to protect self-esteem) □ (+ high self-esteem)tend to be more aggressivethan peers when shamed  Moderate narcissists showed healthy adjustment (vs. covert/overt narcissists)  Strong agechanges in narcissism ○ Does self-esteem change during adolescence and emergingadulthood  Self-esteem decreases when transitioning to middle/jr.middleschool (or any other major lifetransitions)  M tend to have higherself-esteem than F; other studies suggestdecrease in gender gap in e-adulthood  Perhaps b/c femalestend to focus on negative body imagesduring early adolescence  Current concern that adol are receivingtoo much empty praise ○ Is Self-esteem Linked to success in school/initiatives  Moderately correlated  Higherselfesteem → more likelyto initiate → more [positive/negative]outcome (pro-/anti-social behaviours) ○ Some domains more closelylinkedto self-esteem than others: physical appearance is a powerful contributor to self-esteem → starts from earlychildhood until middleage ○ Social contexts and self-esteem  Ex. Family,peers, school  Boys -- familycohesion, parental expression of affection, concern, tailored help, clear rules, prescribed limits  Peer approval & self worth increases during adolescence ○ Consequences of low self-esteem  Depression (suicide), anorexianervosa, delinquency, adjustment problem  Note: studies are correlational → no causal claims  Compounded by other conditions (familylife, school transition, stressful events)  Tend to carry over into adulthood (poorer mental/ physical health, worse economic prospect, higherlevel of criminal behaviour ○ Increase self-esteem in adolescence...  Identifycause of self-esteem & domains of competence important to self □ Higherselfesteem when they perform competently in important domains of self  Provideemotional support & social approval □ Ex. Familiesof neglect / abuse □ Ex. Big brothers and big sisters  Foster achievement  Foster achievement □ Ex. Foster self-efficacy  Helpadolescents to cope → coping with problem helps improveself-esteem II. Identity (who a person in, representing synthesis, integrationof self-understanding) A. Erikson's Idea on Identity ○ RevisitingErikson's viewon identity  Identity vs. identity confusion:faced with deciding who they are, what they're all about, where they're going in life  Psychosocial moratorium: the gap between childhood security and adult autonomy that adolescent experienceduring identityexploration ○ Personalityand RoleExperimentation  Trying out new rolesand discarding them as they see fit → important to giveadol time to explore  In late adolescence, vocational identity becomes central (may turn down better paying job for dream job)  Identity as a self portrait that includes: career, politics, religion,relationship, intelligence,sex, culture/ethnicity, interests, personality (ex. introversion, hostility, etc.), physical appearance (body image) ○ Some contemporary thoughts on identity  Identity developmentas a length process (more gradual than crisisbased as Erikson believed) □ Done in pieces/partsover time  Resolving identityin adol doesn’t meanit'll stay stable forever → maybe flexible& adaptive  Tend to describeself in multipleidentities→ balance between connectedness & autonomy  Current youth tends to be indecisive,confused, ambivalent,directionless → opportunities are lost, increase doubt → establish maladaptivehabits, lack of dedication to activity □ Adults & inspiring cultural climate can provideguidance, feedback, to help improvedevelopment of positive identity B. Four statuses of Identity ○ Crisis: period of identity developmentwhere adol choose between meaningfulalternatives ○ Commitment: persona investment in what P isgoing to do Identity diffusion - Not yet experienced identitycrisis nor commitment - ex. no exploring yet Identity foreclosure - Made commitment without crisis - ex. parents want P to be doctor, made plans to do so, w/o exploring alternatives Identity - In midst of crisisand no clear commitment moratorium - ex. not sure what to do, looking into alternatives Identity - Undergone crisisand made commitment achievement - ex. explored alternativesand chose one ○ Can be used to assess identity components (career, politic, religion,body image,gender, etc.) ○ Critics:  OversimplifiesErikson's model → reduces it to whether P thought about issues &  OversimplifiesErikson's model → reduces it to whether P thought about issues & making firm decision (vs. lifelongprojects) ○ Compensate by including:(1) explorationin depth (gathering information about current commitment) and (2) identificationwith commitment (sense of security/certainty)  ex. decide to be lawyer,look for additional information about that career path, feel reassured at choice when revaluating commitment  (3) r
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