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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 notes.docx

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Connie Boudens

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Chapter 5: Self and Identity Twenty Statements Test (TST): asks participants to give 20 answers to the statement “I am…” (“girl”, “husband”, “student”, “from Toronto”…) Our self-concepts are defined by the social world: how we are similar to others and how we are unique compared to others SELF-CONCEPT Self-concept: the set of ideas and inferences that you hold about yourself, including your traits, social roles, schemas, and relationships It is through social interactions that we develop both our self-concepts and our evaluation of ourselves Until about 1 or 2 years of age, babies don’t recognize the reflection in the mirror as themselves By the ages of 2 or 3, children are able to recognize themselves in the mirror and in pictures and have mastered language enough to use the words “I”, “me”, “my”, “mine”, and the phrase “I’m…” appropriately. Around this age we also see the beginnings of self-esteem Gallup saw chimpanzee’s self-directed behaviours in the mirror test as evidence of self-recognition Age Developing Aspect of Self Accomplishment 0-1 years Physical self-awareness Recognizing Me vs. Not me 1-2 years Self-recognition Mirror recognition 2-3 years Self-esteem Internalizing standards for behaviour 3-4 years Skills & abilities Demonstrating new talents 5-12 years Social comparison Comparing abilities with others Private self-concept Keeping secrets Adolescence Identity Abstract thought Reflected appraisals Objective self-awareness Adulthood The self Internalizing societal expectation Objective self-awareness: adolescents seeing themselves as the object of other’s attentions. They use the views of significant others as a social mirror to form the basis of their own self-views. Through these reflected appraisals adolescents internalize others’ evaluations of them, especially people who are very important to them (family and peers) Looking-glass self: idea that we see ourselves through the eyes of other people and incorporate their views into our self-concept Identity: (socially defined) includes definitions and standards that are imposed on us by others, including interpersonal aspects (roles, relationships), potentials (who we might become), & values (morals, priorities) - People have identities from birth, but they may not be aware of their import until the teen years Teens who openly question the beliefs, values, and goals of their parents may experience an identity crisis as they experience a great deal of confusions & anxiety over who they are and who they wish to be Stereotype threat: when a person experiences distress when faced with a stereotype that threaten his/her self-esteem or social identity. This apprehension then causes the person’s performance to suffer, which ends up confirming the very stereotype he/she felt threatened by We develop our selves using 3 sources of knowledge:  Social comparison with others  The reflected appraisals of others  Our own self-appraisals Attributive self-description: referring to your own psychological attributes or traits (In the study done, American college students answered with this type of description) Social self-descriptions: describing yourself in terms of the social groups to which you belonged to (About 27% of Japanese responses fell into this category compared to only 9% of the American students) Physical self-description: describing your physical appearance (Japanese students were more likely to refer to this type of description) Individualism:  Focuses on uniqueness of the individual & distinguishes the person as separate from the group  People develop their own selves including attitudes and values as distinct from the group’s  Individualistic cultures place a value on bravery, creativity, and self-reliance  Individualism increases when a country’s geography forces a separation among its people (mountains, islands) or when individuals have migrated to distant lands (Great Britain)  With affluence, individuals are less dependent on the group for survival and are free to cultivate their own interests Collectivism:  Places a greater emphasis on the views, needs, & goals of the group rather than the individual  People emphasize being part of a social group and sharing beliefs and customs  In the 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  About 80% of the world’s population live in collectivistic cultures (Africa, Asia, South America)  Examples in different cultures:  Japan- Wa: the harmonious ebb and flow of interpersonal relations  Chinese-Jen: ability to interact with others in sincere, polite, and decent fashion  Latinos- Simpático: both respect and share another’s feelings Independent Self:  Exists apart from other people and is autonomous and self-contained  Individuals are encouraged to embark on a process of self-actualization and self-discovery to develop their potential  People are their truest selves when alone, apart from the influence of others  Independent self is likely to be found in more individualistic cultures like America, Western European, and Canadian  Cannot over-generalize because countries with very strong ethnic or religious identification, people may develop and interdepend self despite living in an individualistic culture Interdependent Self:  Includes others, people aren’t truly themselves without others (family, friend, coworkers…)  Does not mean that a person with an interdependent self merges or loses himself with others or that the person is passive when interacting with others  Interdependent self is likely to be found in more collectivistic cultures like Asian, African, Latin American, and Southern European Possible Selves:  Hoped-for selves- (positive) might include the successful self, the creative self, the rich self, the thin self, or the loved and admired self  Feared selves- (negative) might be the alone self, the depressed self, the incompetent self, the alcoholic self, or the unemployed self SELF-ESTEEM Self-esteem: the amount of value people place on themselves - people with high self-esteem have a favourable view of themselves, whereas people with low self- esteem have an unfavourable view - people with high self-esteem are better at coping with failure and physically healthier than people with low self-esteem - people with lower self-esteem are more easily persuaded by the social influence of others Self-esteem stability
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