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Chapter 13

ch.13 for PSYC14

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

Chapter 13: Culture and Social Behavior concept of self is an imp first step to exploring social behavior because it organizes info about oneself and it is related to our concepts of others self-enhancement is a universal process, but people of different cultures do it in different ways tactical self- enhancement biases in our attributional styles are called self-serving biases; these are related to self-enhancement self-serving biases in attribution are universal but people differ in the specific ways in which they exhibit their self- serving biases Culture and Concept of the Self self-concept is the idea or images that one has about oneself and how and why one behaves as one does self is a psychological construct that people create in order to help themselves understand themselves and their world better descriptive labels imply (1) that we have this attribute within us, just as we possess other attributes such as abilities, rights or interests (2) that our past actions, feelings or thoughts have close connections with this attribute and (3) that our future actions, plans, feelings or thoughts will be controlled or guided by this attribute and can be predicted more or less accurately by it the concept of self as a specific descriptive label may be central to ones self-definition, enjoying a special status as a salient identity or self-schema our sense of self is at the core of our being, unconsciously and automatically influencing our every thought, action and feeling each individual carries and uses these internal attributes to guide their thoughts and actions in different social situations Where does the self-concept come from? concept of self is an imp product of human cultures cultural practices refer to discrete, observable, objective and behavioral aspects of human activities in which people engaged related to culture refers to the doing of culture cultural worldviews are belief systems about ones culture. They are cognitive generalizations about how ones culture is or should be, regardless of whether or not those generalized images are true. They are produced because verbal language is a unique characteristic of humans, and because people talk about their own culture and other cultures o verbal descriptions can be oral or written and are social constructions of reality expressed in consensual ideologies about ones culture concept of self is part of ones cultural worldviews (CW) because how one sees oneself in relation to the rest of the world is an intimate part of ones culture; like CWs it is also a cognitive generalization about ones nature, whether or not that belief is grounded in reality CW influence the construction of the self as a cognitive generalization derived from past experiences that organize and guide the processing of social experiences o They aid in addressing needs for affiliation and uniqueness and explain the importance of understanding values as guiding principles as an imp part of culture Terror management theory suggests that because humans have unique cognitive abilities, we are the only animals aware of the fact that we will die eventually and we are afraid of that inevitable death; we create psychological phenomena to buffer against the terror of dying. We fabricate and give meaning to our existence in order to raise our human existence above nature so that meaning can be drawn from life o Meaning is not physical in nature, nor does it exist as an objective element of culture o Meaning raises because humans must balance a propensity for life with an awareness of the inevitability of death Humans create cultural worldviews and thus concepts of self, partially as a reaction to the terror we feel because of our awareness of our mortality Cultural Differences in Self-Concept: Independent vs. Interdependent Self-Construal Theory concept of self should differ in different cultures just as cultural worldviews do these differences occur because cultures are associated with different systems of rules of living, and exist within different social and economic environments and natural habitats different demands that culture places on individual members means that individuals integrate, synthesize and coordinate their worlds differently, producing differences in self concepts www.notesolution.com Markus and Kitayama: two different senses of self, contrasting the Western or individualistic construal of self as independent, separate entity with a composite construal of self more common in non-Western, collectivistic cultures, in which the individual is viewed as inherently connected or interdependent with others and inseparable from a social context When individuals carry out cultural tasks, they feel satisfied with themselves and self-esteem increases Independent construal of self: individuals focus on personal, internal attributesindividual ability, intelligence, personality traits, goals or preferencesexpressing them in public and verifying and confirming them in private through social comparison o Self is a bounded entity, clearly separated from relevant others o There is no overlap b/w the self and others o The more salient self-relevant info related to attributes thought to be stable, constant and intrinsic to self, such as abilities, goals, and rights Many non-western, collectivistic cultures neither assume nor value overt separateness; these cultures emphasize what may be called the fundamental connectedness of human beings o Primary normative task is to fit in and maintain the interdependence among individuals o Individuals in these cultures are socialized to adjust to themselves to an attendant relationship or a group to which they belong, to read one anothers minds, to be sympathetic, to occupy and play their assigned roles and to engage in appropriate actions o self-esteem depends on whether they can fit in and be part of a relevant ongoing relationship; individuals focus on interdependent status with other people and strive to meet or even create duties, obligations and social responsibilities o the more salient aspect of conscious experience is intersubjective, rooted in finely tuned interpersonal relationships o interdependent construal of self: self is unbounded, flexible and concentrated on context. There is substantial overlapping between self and others o most salient aspects of self are defined in relationships; those features of self related to and inseparable from specific social contexts o internal attributes are relatively less salient in consciousness and are unlikely to be the prim
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