PSYC14H3 Chapter Notes -Prefrontal Cortex, Ingroups And Outgroups, Agreeableness

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Published on 9 Oct 2013
Ch6: self and personality
Diff cultures have their own differences in coming to understand themselves.
o Eg: in terms of athlete success, Japanese focused more on how their performance was guided by the
expectations of others whereas Americans focused on their own personal characteristics
Who am i?
o Twenty-Statements Test is used to measure self-concept; tells us abt our identities in two ways in a
superficial way and on a deeper level
o Superficial level- eg “I’m a Vancouver canucks fan” or “I am a devotee of jazz” these statements are
cultural products, you can’t have been a canucks fan if you haven’t lived in Vancouver
o The culture is merely providing the content abt the ways we think abt ourselves
o At the deeper level, our cultures on our self-descriptions are harder to detect. Eg: “I am creative”
may sound like it’s a culturally influenced statement similar to superficial level but here we are defining
ourselves based on inner attributes abt the self that is
1) Abstract (consists of diff kinds of thoughts and behaviors across diff situations)
2) Stable (creativity stays in you, it doesn’t disappear after you go on a summer vacation)
3) can exist by itself (we do not need others around to be creative)
o “I am a younger brother” – implicates a significant other in one’s self-concept; defines a role and the
responsibilities expected from being a younger brother; emphasizes hierarchical relationship
o ppl all over the world are able to think of themselves in terms of abstract attributes and concrete roles and
relationships but to be able to view themselves in two separate ways varies significantly across cultures
o results that studied the Kenyan and American culture using the Twenty-Statements Test showed that self
descriptions for the Americans were mostly abt their personal characteristics, such as traits, attitudes and
abilities (accounted for 48% of their self descriptions whereas Masai and Samburu accounted for 2%).
Masai and Samburu reflected their social identity, their roles and memberships which accounted for 60%
for their self descriptions and only 7% for the americans
independent vs interdependent views of self
independent view of the self:
self that is derived from inner attributes
these attributes are stable and unique
self-contained (perceived to arise from the individual and not from interactions with others)
significant factor for regulating behavior
individuals feel an obligation to publicly advertise themselves in ways consistent with these attributes
[refer to fig 6.4 page 201 for a graphic view]
According to Masai and Samburu, the self is connected and sustained by a number of significant relationships
o when ppl consider how their behavior will affect others, individuals are perceived as participants in a
larger social unit
interdependent view of the self: [graphical representation on p 203, fig 6.5]
identitites are close connected with others and are not distinct or unique
relationships require ppl to take on roles (such as, father, student, friend etc) that govern how they feel and
behave toward their relationship partners
relationships indicate the groups to which a person belongs and his/her identity can be experienced based
on these group memberships
based on internal characteristics
depending on the situation, the role that a person occupies in that situation will vary accordingly
ingroup is relatively distinct and stable from the outgroup
the relationships established within the ingroup assume considerable importance ppl don’t easily
become ingroup members, close relationships do not form easily
therefore, interdependent selves consist of networks of individuals tied tgt by significant relationships,
whose identities are grounded in these relationships and contrasted against outgroups
results from an exp to study brain activation patterns in how well some trait adjectives characterized themselves or
their mothers:
o Westerners show diff regions of brain activation distinct representation of themselves and their
o Chinese show activation patterns in the same brain region(medial prefrontal cortex) for the two tasks
representations of themselves and for their mothers are not distinct and both reflect on self-concept
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