PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: London Stock Exchange Group, Standard Deviation, Physical Attractiveness

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Published on 25 Feb 2013
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Personality Psychology Foundations and Findings
Chapter 5 Self and Identity
Self-Concept
- Self-concept: the set of ideas and inferences that you hold about yourself, including your traits,
social roles, schemas, and relationships
- How Does the Self-Concept Develop?
o We aren’t born with a self, we develop a sense of self out of physical development and
cognitive maturation along with social experiences
o Chimpanzees and Self-Recognition
Gordon Gallup, 1977 put a full-length mirror in a room with a chimpanzee to
see its response
At first, the chimp responded as those the reflection was another chimp,
but later started responding to the mirror with self-directed responses,
and after about 10 days, the chimp adapted to the presence of the mirror,
at which point it was removed
Red paint was placed on the eyebrow ridge of the chimp and the mirror
returned, the chimp spent more than 25% more time touching itself,
twice as much time touching eyebrows than ears
Suggesting that self-recognition must have been learned during the
earlier experience with the mirror
Chimps who are taken from their mothers at birth and raised in isolation are
unable to recognize themselves, never adapt to reflection in mirror
When marked with red paint, they show no change in viewing time,
suggesting that they do not know it is them in the mirror
o Who is that Baby in the Mirror?
Self-recognition is one step towards self-concept development
Table 5.1
Birth to 1 year developing sense of awareness, once children know that they are
a physical being separate from other people and objects, they start to find out
more about themselves
In the rouge test, on average, infants can recognize themselves in a mirror by 18
months
25% of infants tested could recognize themselves as early as 9-12 months
75% of infants could recognize themselves by 21-25 months
2-3 years recognize selves in mirror and in picture
Beginnings of self-esteem are seen
Know certain facts about themselves
3-4 years self-concepts reflect their developing skills and abilities, physical
attributes, preferences and possessions
o The Developing Self in School
5-12 years further development of their own abilities and becoming acutely
aware of other children; gain a sense of their own abilities compared to other
children
Start to develop a private sense of self as they recognize there are parts of
themselves that others cannot see
o Adolescence and the Looking Glass Self
Self-concepts have become more abstract; incorporate motivations, beliefs,
personality characteristics
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15-16 years sensitive to how they are perceived and judged by others
Experience objective self-awareness: seeing themselves as the object of
others’ attention
Reflected appraisals use views of significant others to form the basis of
their own self-views that are internalized
Looking glass self seeing ourselves as others see us; forms the basis of
the adolescent’s self-esteem
An identity is socially defined, includes definitions and standards that are
imposed on us by others
People have identities from birth, but they may not be aware of their import until
the teen years
Many believe that an identity crisis is inevitable, universal, and normal in
adolescence, but this is not supported
o Our Grown-up Selves
Self-concept comes from within and identity comes from others
Social identities are a part of one’s self-concept (i.e. “mother”, “doctor”)
Depending on the culture we live in, and our own characteristics, we may have
an easier or harder time embracing our identity
We might have certain ethnic, racial, gender, class, or sexual identities
that may be at odds with the dominant culture
People who are made aware of that they are a part of a stereotyped group
may not perform up to their potential because of stereotype threat
Stereotype threat: when a person experiences distress when faced with a
stereotype that threatens their self-esteem or social identity
- Impact of Culture on Self-Concepts
o We develop our self-concept, self-esteem and social identity through social comparison
with others, the reflected appraisals of others, and our own self-appraisals
o Who we are depends a lot on the culture we were born into
o Chinese students more likely to describe themselves in social ways, American students
more likely to describe themselves in attributive ways
o Individualism and Collectivism
Individualism focuses on the uniqueness of the individual and distinguishes the
person as separate from the group
Individualistic cultures place a value on bravery, creativity, and self-
reliance
Collectivism place greater emphasis on the views, needs, and goals of the
group rather than the individual
Extreme: one’s beliefs, goals, attitudes, and values reflect those of the
group
Collectivistic cultures value obligation, duty, security, tradition,
dependence, harmony, obedience to authority, equilibrium, and proper
action
Every culture has both individualistic and collectivistic components, but they
differ in the extent to which the emphasize one state over the other
Approx. 80% of the world’s cultures live in collectivistic cultures
Cultural complexity pushes a culture toward individualism
Geographic distance between members of a culture forces them to make
individual choices, fostering individualism into the culture
o Independent and Interdependent Selves
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