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Chapter 6

PSYC14 Chapter 6

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Sisi Tran

Chapter 6: Motivation Motivations for Self-Enhancement and Self-Esteem - Self-Enhancement: the motivation to view oneself positively. - Self-Serving Biases: tendencies for people to exaggerate how good they think they are. ○ One of the reasons people have bias views is because they are motivated to view themselves positively (self-enhancement). ○ Another is because we rarely encounter concrete information about these (driving ability, loyalty, creativity and dependability) so nothing to prove that we are below the average but if there is concrete information, we are much less likely to hold unrealistic views of ourselves (calculus ability, height and free-throw shooting). - Ways People Use for Self-Enhancement ○ Downward Social Comparison: by comparing your performance with the performance of someone who is doing even worse than you. ○ Upward Social Comparison: when we compare our performance with someone who is doing better than we are (we avoid this). ○ Compensatory Self-Enhancement: exaggerating how good you are at something unrelated to your setback and can again self-enhance by recruiting some other kind of positive thoughts. ○ Discounting: reducing the perceived importance of the domain in which you performed poorly (‘I won’t even be a physicist’). ○ External Attribution: we attribute the cause of our actions to something outside ourselves (teacher marking hard or no time to study). ○ Bask in the Reflected Glory: emphasize our connection to successfully performing others and feel better about ourselves by sharing in the warm glow of the other’s success. - There is evidence of cultural variation in positive self-views. ○ Tendencies to show self-serving biases are far less common among East Asian samples than Western ones. ○ Japanese tend to find failures more memorable and Americans find successes more memorable because they about these more. ○ North Americans often compensate for their failures by inflating their self-assessment in other unrelated domain while Japanese show the reverse tendency. ○ North Americans tend to discount the importance of the task while Japanese view the task as even more important. ○ North Americans tend to make more external attributions for their failures, but the Japanese often make more external attributions for their successes.  East Asians value a different set of traits from those that have been explored in research and if they were asked to evaluate themselves on especially important traits, the cultural differences would be reduced.  The studies are not measuring people’s true feelings but are instead tapping into differences in cultural norms for describing oneself (East 1 Asians are modest in these studies and more self-critical). - People learn self-enhancement motivations from their families and schools. ○ American parents focused on past success and East Asian parents focused on past transgressions of the child. ○ North American schools are more likely than their East Asian counterparts to make efforts to inculcate self-esteem in students. - Predestination: the protestant belief that before we were born, it was already determined whether we were one of the “elect” who would spend eternity in heaven or hell. - There is a positive relation between individualism and self-esteem so the more individualistic we are, the higher our self-esteem. ○ As cultures become more individualistic, there should be a corresponding motivation to view oneself positively. Motivations for Face and Self-Improvement - Face: the amount of social value others give you if you live up to the standards associated with your position (to lose face stemmed from China). ○ People can become highly motivated to maintain and enhance their face because it can easily be lost and difficult to regain. ○ Prevention Orientation: attending to any potential weakness and work toward correcting them by improving themselves, decrease the change that others will view them as having lost face (East Asians). ○ Promotion Orientation: attending to strengths in order to advance oneself and aspiring for gains, trying to avoid loss of face (North Americans). - Self-Improvement: a desire to seek out potential weaknesses and work on correcting them (strong motivation for East Asians). ○ When given a change to play either basketball or darts, North Americans tend to choose the activity they do well whereas East Asians do not. ○ When given negative feedback, East Asians would persevere and persist more on another similar task while North Americans would give up more quickly. Religion and Achievement Motivation - The most individualistic countries in the world are largely Protestant and the least individualistic societies are largely Catholic. - The Protestant ethic has been associated with negative attitudes toward laziness and being overweight and Protestant parents expect their children to become self-reliant at an earlier age than did Catholic parents. - When Protestant males are focused on a work task, they are able to shut out relational concerns, something that neither Protestant women nor non- Protestants seem to do. - When Protestants are actually working, they do not seem to have much interest in anything else. Agency and Control - Entity Theory of the World: we can see the world as something that is fixed and beyond our control to change. 2 - Incremental Theory of the World: we can think of the world as flexible and responsiv
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