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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Personality and the Self-Concept

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

Chapter 11 Personality and the SelfConceptBrief History of Conceptualizing the SelfEarly psychology was largely a psychology of personal experienceWilliam JamesOne of the first selfconcept theorists and provided one of the first definitions of selfesteemHe believed the self is multidimensional and we may have a social me for each significant person in our livesHe positioned 3 components of the selfconcept1 The material me is a surfacelevel account of the self is the material possession of the body and the contexts that are linked to ones body eg home and family environment 2 The social meis an individuals awareness of his or her identity in the eyes of others3 The spiritual methe abstract and vague aspect of selfconcept which incorporates our awareness of our mental processes in terms of our subjective sense of thoughts and feelings James didnt examine the material me social me and spiritual me in terms of crosscultural differences James defined selfesteem as the number of our successes divided by our pretensions aims and expectationsTwo ways James believed one could raise our selfesteem is to increase our accomplishments or lower our goals and expectationsSociometer theory the notion that our selfesteem is essentially a barometer of our relationships with othersThe Looking Glass ShelfSociologist Charles Cooley introduced the concept of the looking glass self Our sense of our self depends on the reactions of other people and watching how other people treat us is like looking in a mirror or looking glass in order to see oneself Felson Symbolic interaction approach 1 Self appraisal 2 Actual appraisal of other people and the persons perception of other peoples appraisal actual appraisals only operate on the self through reflected appraisals 3 Reflected appraisalour perception of how other people regard us and view us Metaaccuracy is the term for how accurate we are in our sense of how other people view us Its relatively low and is more accurate when the data involves a global assessment of the self rather than the dyadic assessment in a specific contextThe Divided SelfLaing elaborated on the Rogerian notion that the actual self we manifest becomes distinct from our ideal self Erik Erikson and the Psychosocial Stages of DevelopmentConflict Age Thematic Question Trust Vs Mistrust Hope Birth18 months Is there a trusting relationship with the caregiver or a sense of shame Autonomy Vs Shame and Doubt 15 3 years old Does the child learn a sense of autonomy and Will selfcontrol or a sense of shame Initiative Vs Guilt purpose 36 years old Is the child appropriately assertive and independent or too forceful leading to guilt Industry Vs Inferiority 612 years old Can the child master new tasks and develop Competence skills or feels incompetent Identity Vs Role Confusion 1218 years old Can the teenager get a sense of identity and Fidelity self in terms of relationship with peers and current and future life roles Intimacy Vs Isolation love 1840 years old Is a loving intimate relationship formed or is the person disconnected Generativity Vs Stagnation 4065 years old Does the person find ways to contribute to the Care next generation or lead a stagnant existence Ego Integrity vs Despair 6580 years old Is the person able to accept hisher life or is Wisdom shehe preoccupied with unfinished business marked by fear of deathIn order to move into the subsequent stage the person must achieve the key task or challenge of the current stageEriksons theory focuses on the psychosocial motives rather than Freuds Psychosexual urges th The most influential of the 8 stages is the 5 stage where the focus is on developing a sense of ego identity vs despair Also the stages are not mutually exclusivethe attempts to resolve a new psychosocial crisis may result in the reemergence of issues from earlier stages
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