Social Phycology CH. 3
The Social Self
ABC’s of the self: Affect, behavior, and cognition
The self-concept: Refers to the sum total of beliefs that ppl have about themselves
According to Hazul Markus, the self-concept is made of self-schemas: Beliefs about oneself that
guide the processing of self relevant info.
-those extremely under/overweight are more in tune with their weight since it affects them,
thoughts of weight trigger thoughts about self – they are more schematic about their weight.
While an average weight person would be aschematic on that attribute.
-self can be transformed or even destroyed from things like head injuries, brain tumors,
exoposure to toxic chemicals ect.
-except for human being only great apes (chimpanzees and gorillas ect), dolphins and some
African elephants seem capable of self – recognition
-Study: can ppl lift their spirits with body posture? Yes. When sitting straight (confident posture)
feel more pride – had more positive thoughts but if they were thinking negative thoughts they
were confidently negative :s slumped over (doubtful posture)
Intrinsic motivation: engaging in an activity for the sake of own intrest- immediate reward ei.
Eating yummy food, listening to music ect.
Extrinsic motivation: means to an end ie. Money, grades, regocnition
Overjustification effect: The tendency for intrinsic motivation to diminish for activities that
have become associated with reward or other intrinsic factors. Ex. You love drawing but hate to
draw if its your job and you getting paid for it
Social comparison theory: the theory that people evaluate their own abilities and opinions by
comparing themselves to others – distinguishing factors
-ppl feel smarter if they get 40% that’s above the average of their peers rather than 60% that
below average. We generally compare to ppl that are similar to us- it increases motivation
Autobiographical memories: Memories are key for having a self-concept – however we can “remember” events that are
distorted or not real. Flashbulb memories: high resolution detailed recollection – not necessarily
-Cultural orientations can influence the way we perceive, evaluate, and present ourselves in
relation to others. Most Europeans and North Americans have an independent view of the self,
while people from Asia, Africa and South America hold an interdependent view of the self.
-self-esteem is critical for our outlook on life. Better self-esteem = happy, healthy, more
productive & successful. A bad self-esteem = depressed, pessimistic and prone to failure &
affects health negatively. The area in which your self-esteem is higher also makes a difference.
-Individualists present themselves as unique and self-confident while collectivists present
themselves as modest, equal members of a group. Ex. Americans try to be unique while Japanese
try to fit in.
-The basic need for positive self-regard in universal, but the specific drive toward self
enhancement (what will make you be regarded more positively) is culturally engrained. (varys
Self-discrepancy theory: Yourself concept is what you think of yourself. Who you “out to be”
and who your ideal self is are you self-guides. To the extent that your self concept falls short of
these self-guides, you will have lowered self-esteem, negative emotions, and in extreme cases a
serious affective disorder. Is the mismatch is between your actual self and your ought self, you
will feel guilty ashamed and resentful. If it is between your actual self and your ideal self, you
will feel disappointed, frustrated, and unfulfilled, possibly depressed.
The self-awareness “trap”: We don’t think about ourselves a lot, but when we do we (usually)
are not happy and wish we were doing something else.
Self-awareness theory: Self-focused attention leads ppl to notice self-discrepancies, thereby
motivating either an escape from self-awareness or a change in behavior.
When we enter a state of heightened self-awareness (from looking at a video of ourselves,
thinking about ourselves etc.) it leads us to compare our beh to some standard.
Ex) kids trick-or-treating went to a bowl of candy that they could take as much as they wanted
but it said please take one, when a full length mirror was placed behind the bowl, less candy was
taken cause the kids were looking at themselves therefore thinking about themselves and trying
to be their “ideal self”. When ppl had an “honesty box” where they put money in for their coffees
unsupervised, more ppl put money in when the pictures hanging were a pair of eyes vs. a vase of
Private self-consciousness: a personality characteristic of individuals who are introspective,
often attending to their own inner states
Public self-consciousness: a personality characteristic of individuals who focus on themselves
as social objects, as seen by others. -PPL who scored higher on private self-consciousness tend to fill in incomplete sentences with
first person pronouns, make quick self-descriptive statements, and are acutely aware of changes
in their internal bodily states.
-PPL who scored higher on the public self-consciousness are sensitive to the way outsiders view
them, and are sensitive to the extent to which others share their opinions.
Self-regulation: studies show that we can control ourselves just so much before fatigue sets in
and we “lose it”. Also if you are focusing hard to regulate one thing, others may suffer (ex.
Dieters have bowls of candy and junk food around them while performing tasks – the dieters
were much quicker to give up on tasks (less persistent) and had to try the hardest to avoid