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Chapter 5

PSYB30-Chapter 5 Notes .docx

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Connie Boudens

Chapter 5: Self and Identity  Twenty-Statements Test (TST): A test of self-concept, where participants generate 20 answers to the statement “I am ________” Self-Concept  Think about your 20 answers to the question “who are you?” Together, these reflect your 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?  We develop sense of self out of physical development and cognitive maturation along with social experience.  Mirror test: A test to see if an animal or human infant has sense of self by showing self-directed behaviours while looking in a mirror. Often tested by placing a red spot on the research subject and observing its behaviour. 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 and abilities Demonstrating new talents 5-12 years Social comparison Comparing abilities with others Private self-concept Keeping secrets Adolescence Identity Abstract thought Reflected appraisals Object self-awareness Adulthood The self Internalizing societal expectations.  From birth to about 1 years of age infants are developing a sense of physical awareness. Rather than having an awareness of themselves in the world, they are still trying to discern what is part of them and what is part of physical environment.  By age 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”. “mine,” and the phrase “I’m…” appropriately. Then Developing Self in School  During ages 5 to 12 children are further developing their own abilities at the same time becoming acutely aware of the abilities of other children as they enter school. Have you ever seen kids at a park run to the top of a hill and vie for the chance to declare, “I’m kind of the mountains!” Comparing themselves with peers becomes very important between ages 5 and 6 and becomes increasingly important. Children gain a sense of their own talents by seeing how they measure up compared to others.  As early as ages 3 or 4 children recognize personality characteristics and can use them to describe other children. However, it is not until they are about 5 or 6 that children may further progress and come to describe kinds in their class using personality attributes in addition to social comparison information.  It is not until ages 9 or 10 that children come to understand what a trait is and recognize traits as enduring qualities within a person that are stable across time and situations.  Also between ages 5 or 12 children start to develop a private sense of self as they recognize that there are parts of themselves that others cannot see. They start to realize that they have thoughts, feelings, and desires that are uniquely their own and not automatically known by others. Adolescence and the looking Glass Self:  By the time we are adolescents, our self-concepts have become more abstract, incorporating motivations, beliefs, and personality characteristics in contrast to the more concrete descriptions of children’s self-concepts.  Objective self-awareness: seeing the self as an object of social scrutiny  Reflected appraisals: The opinions of significant others that are used as a mirror to evaluate ourselves.  Looking glass self: Seeing our self as others see us.  An identity is socially defined. It includes definition and standards that are imposed on us by others, including interpersonal aspects, potentialities, and values. People have identities from birth, but they may not be aware of their important until the teen years.  Many people believe, much as the psychologist Erik Erikson did, that an identity crisis in adolescence is inevitable, universal, and perfectly normal. However, this popular view is not supported by current research evidence. For example, only teens who openly question the beliefs, values, and goals, of their parents may experience an identity crisis as they experience a great deal of confusion and anxiety over who they are and who they wish to be.  Stereotype threat: The distress people feel in a situation where their performance may confirm a stereotype. This distress causes them to perform worse than they are capable of. Impact of Culture on Self-Concepts:  We developed our selves – our self-concepts, self-esteem, and social identities – by using three sources of knowledge: social comparison with other, the reflected appraisals of others, and our own self-appraisals.  Attributive self-description: In the twenty statements test, aspects of the self- concept that refer to psychological or physiological states or traits.  Social self-descriptions: In the twenty statements test, aspects of the self- concepts that refer to social roles, institutional memberships, or a socially defined status.  Physical self-descriptions: In the twenty statements tests, aspects of the self- concept that refer to physical qualities. Individualism and Collectivism:  Cultures may be described along two dimensions: individualism and collectivism.  Individualism focuses on the uniqueness of the individual and distinguishes the person as separate from the group. Under individualism, 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.  Collectivism places greater emphasis on the views, needs, and goals of the group rather than the individual. Under collectivism, 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 values obligation, duty, security, tradition, dependence, harmony, and obedience to authority, equilibrium, and proper action.  Cultures that emphasize individualism are considered individualistic cultures; cultures that emphasize collectivism are considered collectivistic cultures. Independent and Interdependent Selves:  An independent self exists apart from other people and is autonomous and self-co
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