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Chapter 3

Chapter 3-Jan. 10th .docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310

Chapter 3- The Self: Self-Perception and Self-Presentation January 10 2014 What are the self-concept and self-awareness? Self-concept- an individual’s overall beliefs about his or her own attributes • Your self-concept has an impact on how you feel about yourself, if your overall evaluation of your attributes is positive, you’ll have high self-esteem, or it will be lower if you view your attributes less favourably • Changes from childhood to adulthood Self-esteem- an individual’s evaluation of his or her own worth Self-awareness- is a state of being aware of oneself as an object of one’s thoughts - Self as interpersonal tool • Important element in people’s social life and interpersonal relationships • In order to have a social life and have relationships with others around us we need to have a relatively stable identity - Self as decision maker • People make small and large decisions that reflect their principles, goals, and priorities - Self as regulatory system • The self has to maintain itself despite the individual’s diverse and sometimes contradictory goals • Important in taking care of one’s interpersonal relationships, regulate one’s emotional states, and organize information that is related to particular tasks How do personal factors influence the self-concept and self-awareness? - Introspection is the process of thinking about your thoughts or feelings and is often seen as influencing the self-concept • Not a very effective way of gaining insight into our true attitudes Affective forecasting- the process of predicting the impact of both positive and negative events on mood - Another factor that can influence the way we see ourselves is how we compare ourselves to our own standards of behaviour 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 • Everyone feels some discrepancy between their actual and ideal selves, but people who perceive a large discrepancy feel less good about themselves than people who see a small discrepancy Self-awareness theory- when people focus on their own 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) • In some cases self-awareness leads people to match their behaviour to their internal standards, in other cases people choose to escape from this self-awareness and the discomfort it can bring Self-perception theory- we look to our own behaviour to determine our attitudes and beliefs - Gender stereotypes and awareness of those stereotypes influence self-confidence for both men and women Facial feedback hypothesis- the hypothesis that changes in facial expression can lead to changes in emotion • Changes in emotion that are caused by facial (and body) feedback are simply a result of self-perception • Facial expressions and body movements influence emotions by producing physiological changes in the brain • Particular facial expressions and body movements may lead to increases or decreases in blood flow to the brain, which in turn are responsible for changes in mood - Another factor that can influence how people view themselves is the motivation they identify as being the reason for their behaviour - Intrinsic motivation is usually associated with greater enjoyment of a task than extrinsic motivation Overjustification- the phenomenon in which receiving external rewards for a given behaviour can undermine the intrinsic motivation for engaging in this behaviour • Providing a reward in advance of doing an activity undermines intrinsic motivation, but providing an unexpected reward has no significant impact on such motivation How do social factors influence the self-concept? Social comparison theory- the theory that people evaluate their own abilities and attributes by comparing themselves to other people • Explains why we think about ourselves in very different way depending on the nature of the comparison we’re making and its significance to us How do people maintain a positive self concept? - Self-serving strategies include: • False uniqueness effect- the tendency to underestimate the extent to which other people are likely to share our positive attitudes and behaviour o We see our own desirable behaviour as less common than is actually the case o People underestimate the number of people who engage in positive actions while overestimating the number of people who engage in negative actions o Much more common in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures • Self-serving biases in how we process, or make sense of, our experience (ex. misremembering) o The tendency to remember things in a self-serving way, can lead us to see change over time, even when no change has occurred • Self-serving outcomes of that processing (i.e., self-serving attitudes and beliefs • Self-serving comparisons with others • Self-serving behaviour False consensus effect- the tendency to overestimate the extent to which other people share our opinions, attitudes and behaviours 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 other people to experience bad events Perceived control-
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