PSYB10 Chapter 5
ProfessorElizabeth Page- Gould
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Self-knowledge and the Need to maintain Self-Esteem
Williams James described the basic duality of our perception of self:
1) the self is composed of one’s thoughts and beliefs about oneself
2) The self is also the active processor of information, the “knower” or the “I”.
-The contents of oneself: that is, our knowledge about who we are.
-Which is the act of thinking about ourselves.
These two concepts of the self concept and self awareness combine to create a
coherent sense of identity.
-People who are low on self concept clarity are more likely to be neurotic and have low
self-esteem, and are less likely to be aware of their internal states. They are less likely to
engage in positive forms of self focus such as reflection.
-Self concepts in humans develop around age 2-3 years (using the mirror rough test)
-Mental structures that help us to organize our knowledge about ourselves and that
influence what we notice, think about, and remember about ourselves.
Independent view of the self
-Defining oneself in terms of one’s own internal thoughts, feelings, and actions,
and not in terms of the thoughts, feelings and actions of other people.
-Independence and uniqueness is encouraged.
Interdependent view of the self
-Defining oneself in terms of one’s relationships to other people; recognizing that
one’s behaviour is often determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of
-Independence and uniqueness are frowned upon whereas interdependence and
connectedness are encouraged.
-This view of the self occurs in many Asian cultures and non westernized
Culture and gender also play a role in how people define themselves.
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