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Chapter 3

PSYB10H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Blood Sugar, Procrastination, Self-Control

Course Code
Elizabeth Page- Gould

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Chapter 3 The Social Self
The capacity for self-reflection is necessary for people to feel as if they understand their own
motives and emotions and the causes of their behavior
Self is heavily influenced by social factors
o The way we manage ourselves is influenced by the people around us
ABCs of self
o A: affect
o B: behavior
o C: cognition
“Cocktail party effect” – tendency of people to pick a personally relevant stimulus out of a
complex environment
o People are selective in their attention
o Self is an important object of our own attention
Self-concept: sum total of beliefs that people have about themselves
o Made up of self-schemas: beliefs about oneself that guide the processing of self-relevant
o How the one perceives things (e.g. what books are to a library)
o Self-schema for body weight (overweight/ underweight)
When body image is a conspicuous aspect of the self-concept then it is considered
When body image is NOT an important part of their lives its considered as
Sense of self is biologically rooted
Gallup (1997) proved that apes can perceive their mirrored images as their own
o Self recognition among great apes and human infants is the first clear expression of the
concept “me”
Come to know ourselves by imagining what significant others think of us and then incorporating
these perceptions into our self-concepts
Self is relational draw our sense of who we are from our past and current relationships with
the significant others in our lives
Gallup tested apes that were raised in isolation, and they did not recognize themselves in the
Our self-concepts match our perceptions of what others think of us
Self-knowledge is derived from introspection (one’s own thoughts and feelings)
Humans keep mentally busy processing information, which is why we often fail to understand
our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
Affective forecasting: difficulty projecting forward and predicting how they would feel in
response to future emotional events
o Wilson & Gilbert people overestimate the strength and duration of their emotional
reactions (impact bias)
When it comes to negative life events, people do not fully appreciate the extent to
which our psychological coping mechanisms help us to cushion the blow
Self-other difference by which we tend to predict that others will suffer
even longer than we will
When we introspect about the emotional impact on us of a future event, we
become so focused on that single event that we neglect to take into account the
effects of other life experiences

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Chapter 3 The Social Self
Perceptions of Our Own Behaviour
Self-perception theory: The theory that when internal cues are difficult to interpret, people
gain self-insight by observing their own behavior
o Making an inference about yourself by watching your own actions
People do not infer their own internal states from behavior that occurred in the presence of
compelling situational pressures (reward/punishment)
o Only when the situation alone seems insufficient to have caused their behavior
Facial feedback hypothesis: changes in facial expression can lead to corresponding changes in
o Can evoke and magnify certain emotional states
Emotional state is revealed in the way you carry yourself
o The way you carry yourself can also affect your emotional state
Intrinsic motivation: factors within a person
o E.g. being intrinsically motivated when people engage in an activity for the sake of their
own interest
Extrinsic motivation: factors outside the person
o Being extrinsically motivated when people engage in an activity as a means for tangible
Overjustification effect: the tendency for intrinsic motivation to diminish for activities that
have become associated with reward or other extrinsic factors
o People begin to wonder if the activity was ever worth pursuing in its own right
o Getting paid for a task they already enjoy causes the person to lose interest in it
o Accept money for a leisure activity, and what used to be play comes to feel more like
Influences of Other People
Social comparison theory: the theory that people evaluate their own abilities and opinions by
comparing themselves to others
o People evaluate themselves through comparisons with similar others
Two-factor theory of emotion: the theory that the experience of emotion is based on two
factors: physiological arousal and a cognitive interpretation of that arousal
o Physiological arousal: racing heart, perspiration, rapid breathing, tightening of the
o Cognitive interpretation: the people around us help us interpret our own arousal
o When people are unclear about their own emotional states, they sometimes interpret
how they feel by watching others
Level of physiological arousal cannot be too intense or it will be experienced as
Autobiographical Memories
Self-concept shapes our personal memories
Brown & Kulik flashbulb memories: enduring and detailed recollections of dramatic events
Autobiographical memory is a vital part of our identity
Culture and the Self-Concept
Different cultural orientations:
o Individualism
North American
Virtues of independence, autonomy, and self-reliance
One’s personal goals take priority over group allegiances
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