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Chapter 3

PSYB10 - Chapter #3 Notes.docx
PSYB10 - Chapter #3 Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Elizabeth Page- Gould

Chapter #3 Notes: The Social Self: Except lecture #7 readings: Pp 59-60 (affective forecasting), 61-62 self-perceptions of emotion), 65-66 (2-factor theory of emotion)  Thomson’s plight: o One about the private inner 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 own behaviour o The other about the outer self we show others – self heavily influenced by social factors  ABC’s for the sense of self: o A = affect – How do people evaluate themselves, enhance their self-image or defend against threats to their self-esteem? o B = behaviour – How do people regulate their own actions and present themselves to others according to interpersonal demands? o C = cognition – How do people know themselves and develop a self-identity? Self-Concept:  “cocktail party affect” – tendency of people to pick a personally relevant stimulus out of a complex environment  Self is an important object of our own attention  Self-concept – refers to the sum total of beliefs that people have about themselves  Hazel Markus (1977) – the self-concept is made up of cognitive models called self-schemas – beliefs about oneself that guide the processing of self-relevant information o An individual’s total self-concept Elements of the Self-Concept:  It can shine on only one object at a time (ie. Hunger), but can rapidly shift Is the Self Specifically Represented in the Brain?  William Thompson – self is biologically rooted  Synaptic sense of self: How our brains become who we are – Joseph LeDoux (2002) argues that the synaptic connections within the brain provide the biological base for memory, which makes possible the sense of continuity that is needed for normal identity  The Lost Self: Pathologies of the Brain and Identity – Todd Feinberg and Julian Keenan (2005) – describe how the self can be transformed and destroyed by damages to the nervous system  Trying to use techniques to study the brain in action (PET, fMRI) Do Non-Human Animals Show Self-Recognition?  Humans, great apes – chimps, gorillas, orangutans: only animals capable of self-recognition  Human infants recognize themselves b/w the ages of 18-24 months What Makes the Self a Social Concept?  Ability to see yourself, social factors  Charles Horton Cooley (1902) – the looking-glass self: other people serve as a mirror in which we see ourselves  George Hebert Mead (1934) – often come to know ourselves by imagining what significant others thing of us and then incorporating these perceptions into our self-concepts  Susan Andersen and Serena Chen (2002) – the self is relational – that we draw our sense of who we are from our past and current relationships with significant others in our lives Introspection:  Self-knowledge is derived from introspection, a looking inward at one’s own thoughts and feelings  Richard Nisbett and Tim Wilson (1977) – research participants often accurately explain the causes or correlates of their own behaviour  Wilson – Strangers to Ourselves: introspection can sometimes impair self-knowledge o Attitudes people had towards certain objects corresponded directly to their behaviour Perceptions of Our Own Behaviour:  Darly Bem (1972) – people can learn about themselves the same way outside observers do – by watching their own behaviour o Self-perception theory – internal states are weak/difficult to interpret; people infer their own behaviour by what they think or how they feel by observing their own behaviour o People do not infer their own internal states from behaviour that occurred in the presence of compelling situational pressures such as reward or punishment o People sometimes learn about themselves by observing their own freely chosen behaviour  Noah Goldstein and Robert Cialdini (2007) – vicarious self-perception: you infer something about yourself by observing the behaviour of someone else you completely identify with Self-Perceptions of Motivation:  Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – reward for an enjoyable activity can undermine interest in that activity o Key difference b/w intrinsic and extrinsic motivation o Intrinsic motivation – originates in factors within a person o Extrinsic motivation – originates in factors outside the person o Overjustification effect – the tendency for intrinsic to diminish for activities that have become associated with reward (extrinsic factors) *dangerous  People get paid for a task they already enjoy they may lose interest for it o Example: children with markers  Reward perception plays a key factor in its role on performance Influences of Other People:  The importance of the looking-glass self to our self-concepts Social Comparison Theory:  The self is relative, a social construct that we define ourselves in part by using family members, friends and others as a benchmark  Leon Festinger (1954): social comparison theory – people are uncertain of their abilities/opinions (people evaluate themselves through comparing themselves with others) o When do we turn to others for comparison? o With whom do we choose to compare ourselves?  William Klein (1997): when people receive note of their performance and performance of other at the same time (we turn to comparison)  We generally compare ourselves to those similar to us (there are exceptions) Autobiographical Memories:  Without autobiographical memories you would have no coherent self-concept  Memories shape the self-concept and vice versa  Older adults retrieve a large # of personal memories from their adolescence and early adult years – a “reminiscence bump”  People tend to remember transitional firsts – positive events or those surprising are most likely to be remembered  Roger Brown and James Kulik (1977) – flashbulb memories – enduring, high-resolution recollections, equipped for survival purposes o Not necessarily accurate or even consistent overtime o These recollections feel special and serve as prominent landmarks in our lives  Linking the present to the past – autobiographical memory is a vital part of – and can be shaped by our identity  People distort the past in ways that are self-inflated Culture and the Self-Concept:  Canadian parents raise children to be independent, self-reliant and assertive  Japanese parents: raised to fit into groups and community  Individualism – independence, autonomy and self-reliance; one’s personal goals take precedence (USA, Australia, UK, Canada and Netherlands)  Collectivism – independence, cooperation and social harmony (Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Indonesia and Pakistan)  African Americans most individualistic subgroup  Asian and Latino Americans most collectivistic  Hazel Markus and Shibobu Kitayama – most North Americans and Europeans have an independent view of the self o Asia, Africa and Latin America – most have an interdependent view of the self  Close link b/w cultural orientation and conceptions of the self  Markus and Kitayama (1991) 2 interesting diff b/w the east and west: o People in individualistic cultures strive for personal achievement: Easterners more self- critical and less self-enhancing than West o Students in West see themselves as les similar to other than the East; those with individualistic views view themselves as unique  Michael Ross (2002) – it is possible to activate different cultural mindsets that in turn affect bicultural individuals’’ self-perceptions  Kaiping Peng and Richard Nisbett (1999) – people in East African cultures think in dialectal terms about contradictory characteristics  Dialecticism – a system of thought characterized by the acceptance of such contradictions through compromise; beware of your friends not your enemies (EAST)  West – one must be right and one is wrong  East Asians more willing that Americans to see the contradictory aspects of themselves Self-Esteem:  An affectively charged component of the self  Esteem comes from Latin word aestimare = to estimate or appraise  Self-esteem = our positive/negative evaluations of ourselves  Self-esteem is a trait that is stable from childhood through to old age The Need for Self-Esteem:  Mark Leary and Roy Barmeister (2000) – people are inherently social animals and that desire for self-esteem is driven by this more primitive need to connect with others and gain their approval o Our sense of self-esteem serves as a s sociometer – a rough indicator of how we’re doing in the eyes of others  Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon and Thomas Pyszczynski (1997) – Terror Management Theory: we humans are biologically programmed for self-preservation; we are terrified by our own death o We respond by coming up with concepts of God, why we are here, etc.  Satisfying the need for self-esteem is critical to our entire outlook on life  People with positive self-images are happy, healthy, productive and successful  Negative self-images tend to be more depressed, pessimistic and prone to failure  Low self-esteem may even be hazardous to your own health  Jennifer Crocker and Lora Park (2004) – the process of pursuing self-esteem itself is costly  Ulrich Orth (2012) – self-esteem peaks at age 50 and declines as one ages, cause of particular life outcomes rather than the consequence  William Swann (2007) – although a person’s overall or global sense of self-worth may not be predictive of positive life outcomes people with specific domains of self-esteem benefit in more circumscribed ways Are There Gender and Race Differences?  No difference b/w boys and girls  Black counterparts score higher than white on self-esteem measures  Twenage and Crocker – self-esteem scores of black Americans relative to those of white Americans have risen over time o A stigmatized group preserves its self-esteem Culture and Self-Esteem:  Diff in self-esteem scores can be directly related to an awareness of normative pressures to respond according to the dictates of the culture  The need for people to see us in a positive light is universal or pancultural  The diff is cultures affect HOW we fulfill that need  Heine: Westerners tend to use self-enhanceme
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