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Chapter 3

Chapter 3.docx

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PSYC 2310
Andrew Robinson

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Chapter 3: The Self: Self- Perception and Self Presentation Self-concept: an individuals overall beliefs about his or her own attributes; example: funny, athletic, outgoing, etc.  Self concept is one aspect of the self; your knowledge about who you are (known or the Me)  The second aspect is self awareness; your act of thinking about yourself (knower or the I)  Your self concept has an impact on how you feel about yourself. If your overall evaluation of your attributed is positive, you’ll have high self esteem, just as your self- esteem will be lower if you view your attributed less favourably Self awareness: a state of being aware of oneself as an object of ones thoughts  When people are forced into being self aware they become motivated to change their behaviour either to match personal standards or to escape their self awareness  Harry Triandis, a Greek social psychologist living in the United States, distinguishes between three aspects of self: private, public, and collective. The private self is the way a person understands him- or herself (e.g., I'm a hard- working student). The public self refers to the way that a person is perceived by others (e.g., Others think I'm smart). The collective self refers to a person's sense of belonging to a social group, such as a family, com- munity, or ethnic group (e.g., My family knows I am the one that takes care of my aging FUNCTIONS OF SELF Self as an Interpersonal Tool In order for us to have a social life and have relationships with others around us, we need to have a relatively stable identity Self as Decision Maker Decisions reflect our goals and values. Example: if you want to become a psychologist, it is important for you to perform well in your classes which mean completing assignments and studying for exams Self as a Regulatory System The self has to maintain itself despite the individuals diverse and sometimes contradictory goals. Example: while on a diet you struggle to control to eat something bad for you Different types of the brain make different types of decisions:  People who were low in self concept clarity were more likely to be neurotic and have low self esteem, and were less likely to be aware of their states  Different parts of the brain are responsible for making decisions about immediate rewards versus delayed rewards  Self concept clarity is defined as the extent to which knowledge about the self is clearly or consistently defined The Hazards of Introspection  Introspection is actually not a very effective way of gaining insight into our true attitudes  People who analyze the reasons why they have a particular attitude, show a lower correlation between their attitudes and their behaviour (their attitudes aren’t very good at predicting their actual behaviour)  Our feelings are a better predictor of our true preferences and even our future behaviour. Overestimation of the Impact of Events Affective forecasting: the process of predicting the impact of both positive and negative events on mood  People are unaccurate in their affective forecasting, meaning that they greatly overestimate the impact that both positive and negative events will have on their mood  People expect to feel much greater regret than they actually do, which could lead us to make family decisions The problem if Self-Discrepancy  Self-discrepancy theory: the theory that our self concept is influenced by the gap between how we actually see ourselves and how we want to see ourselves o Ex: if you see yourself as a consistent C-level student but come from an academically successful family and you aspire to be an intellectual like your parents and siblings, you may experience a large gap between your actual and ideal selves and therefore feel ery negative about yourself  Self-awareness theory: when people focus on their behaviour, they are motivated to either change their behaviour (so their attitudes and behaviour are in line) or escape from self awareness (to avoid noticing this contradiction) Self perception theory  We look to our own behaviour to determine our attitudes and beliefs in just the same way that we may examine other peoples behaviour to ee what they are like o Ex: is you regularly choose chocolate cake from a dessert tray, you assume you must like chocolate  Self perception theory eplains why asking people to perform a behaviour, especially with little pressure, can lead them to experience a change in self concept Gender differences in self-definition:  When information is availbale about ones ability on a specific task, men and women are similar in estimating their ability. However, when this information is missing, men tend to estimate their abilities at a significantly higher level than women do  Studies thus seem to indicate that men and women differ in their self confidence about their ability to succeed in a task (femine tasks versus masculine taks) Facial feedback hypothesis: The hypothese that changes in facial expression can lead to changes in emotion.  Change in emotion that are caused by facial (and body) feedback are simply a result of self perception. People whoa re smiling may perceive themselves as happy and therefore feel happy Interpreting your Motivation  If you believe that you are engaging in a given activity based on intrinsic motivation, you see your behaviour as motivated by internal factions, such as the interest you have in the task  People who work on a task for extrinsic reasons report feeling concerned with recognition, competition, and tangible rewards or benefits The Dangers of Overjustification  Overjustification: the phenomenon in which receiving external rewards for a given behaviour can undermine the intrinsic motivation for engaging in the behaviour o Sometimes activities that should be intrinsically motivating, such as reading books, become less enjoyable once external motivations for such behaviours are provided  Ex: asking students to voluntarily participate in volunteering compared to forcing students to volunteer- they are less interested in volunteering in the future Social comparison Theory  The theory that people evaluate their own abilities and attributes by comparing themselves to toehr people  Example: if you receive an 83 on an exam, you want to know how others did so you can understand how your performance compares. If the class average was 73, you feel good about yourself compared to if it was 93  Especially likely in situations of uncertainty  Explains why we think about ourselves in very different ways depending on the nature of the comparisons we’re making and its significance to us  False uniqueness effect: we see our own desirable behaviour as less common than is actually the case Misremembering  The tendency to remember things in a self serving way can also lead us to see change over time, even when no change has occurred. o Ex: people going poorly in a class and get a tutor often report that their scores have improved, and they attribute this improvement to the tutor Seeing our Views as Shared by Others  False consensus effect: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which other people share our opinions, attitudes, and behaviours o We make this mistake because we usually surround ourselves with people who share our beliefs o People also see their own skills and abilities as relatively normative, meaning similar to that of others in their social group  False uniqueness effect: tendency for people to see themselves as more likely to perform positive acts than others, and to see ourselves as less biased, and more accurate, than others Self Serving Beliefs  Unrealistic optimism: a phenomenon in which people see themselves as more likely than other people to experience good events, and less likely than other people to experience bad events o We see our traits in a particularly positive way, and seek out and view information that flatters us a particularly valid o We also assign greater importance to what we’re good at then to what we are bad at Having High Perceived Control Perceived control: the tendency to see uncontrollable events as at least partially under our control  EX: some people leave the room if their team is losing; for fear that their watching of the game on tv is influencing the players performance Making Overconfident Judgements  Sometimes others’ predictions about our behaviour are more accurate than our own o Ex: you believe your dating relationship will last longer than your friends and family believe it will  Those who are at least component in a given task are most overconfident about their abilities Self Serving comparisons Self-handicapping: a strategy in which people create obstacles to success so that potential failure can be blamed on these external factors  Ex: The night before an exam, students can avoid studying anf stay out really late. If they do badly, they can blame their poor performance on their lack of preparation on their lack of preparation, which protects their view of their intelligence. o By creating such onstacles, individuals free themselves from the pressure to perform well and as a result actually enjoy the task more The downside of overly positive self views  People who hold overly positive views of themselves can behave more aggressively toward others and see them in amore negative light. They also may have poor social skills and be seen less positively by others  People whoa re high in self esteem and receive failure feedback are more likely to denigrate others and exaggerate their superiority over others Self Promotion  Impression Management: strategies that people use to creat positive impression of themselves  Self promotion: a strategy that focuses on making other people think you are competent or good in some way. Ex: athletes who brag about
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