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Chapter 5

PSY220H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Minimal Group Paradigm, Sigma Chi, Social Comparison Theory

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Jennifer Fortune

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Chapter 5 the person in the situation: self concept, gender and dispositions
Dispositions: individuals’ consistencies across time and settings in a specific type of feeling,
thought, and/or action, which make individuals different from other people
-aka individual difference variables or personality traits
-disposition reflect stable differences in a particular domain between persons ie friendless,
generosity, athleticism
Self esteem: a disposition that represents ppl’s judgements of their own worthiness ie owns
attitude towards self
-SE is a type of disposition ie personality traits
-HSE -> think positively about themselves and consider themselves to be worthwhile
-LSW -> evaluate themselves negative and are less confident about their self worth
Self concept and identity
Humans can be self-reflective ie thinking about ones past and future, wondering how one is
viewed by other ppl and assessing ones weakness. The product of self-reflection is our self
Who am I? The self in me
Self concept: all info about the self in memory
-how we identify ourselves, the values we endorse, and how we feel about ourselves
- identity is a self concept
Identity: the characteristics that individuals think define them and make up their more imp
-identity consist of whatever characteristics you see as highly self-descriptive ie uni
student, sigma chi, attitudes towards things, gender etc
Attitudes, gender and dispositions
Priming and situation distinctiveness
Ppl juggle number ID which can sometimes conflict with one another ex professional careers and
Spontaneous self concept: the aspect of identity that are in conscious awareness at a given point
in time
-the spontaneous self-concept changes in response to personal and situational factors
-a recently primed identity will be easier activated in subsequent situations
The distinctiveness of a feature in a particular setting influences spontaneous self concept
-ppl are more aware of a specific characteristics when it makes them unique from other
ppl in the situation ex: a boy in a girl’s classic arts class
-any feature that distinguishes ppl form others in the setting is expected to become more
Studies that asked children to describe themselves suggest that situation factors can make features
more prominent, which increase the likelihood that these features will be activated and become
part of the spontaneous self-concept
Is it me or we?
Our id consist of the characteristic that we believe define us and describe our most imp qualities
ie personal traits, attitudes, abilities and qualities and group membership
Group memberships are central to our id -> called social identity theory
Hypothesis: individuals need to feel both similar to other ppl and different form other ppl ->
optimal distinctiveness theory
Social id theory
Social id theory: a model hypothesizing that ppl want to have positive appraisals of groups to
which they belong
-we judge our groups to be superior to other groups and this makes us feel good
-when ppl distribute resources between in-groups and out groups, they favour members of
the in-group
Experiment - boys estimated dots, 2 groups over estimator and under estimator
-when asked to allocate resources to the 2 groups, when participants made an allocation
decision that involved an in-group member and an out-group member, they consistently
favoured the in-group
- this experiment used the method called minimal group paradigm
Minimal group paradigm: a procedure in which participants are divided into groups based on
trivial features or information
Optimal distinctiveness theory
Optimal distinctiveness theory: a model hypothesizing that ppl want to maintain a balance
between similarity to other ppl and individuality from other ppl
Sources of SE
-personal experiences – positive outcomes lead to HSE, negative outcomes lead to LSE
Personal experiences of successful or unsuccessful social relationships are very imp for SE
- friendships, social acceptance -> HSE
- loneliness, social rejection -> LSE
Doing good in school -> HSE
Mark Baldwin – research shows
-ppl with LSE are more likely than those with HSE to think that other ppl liking them for
them depends on their performance ie other will accept them if they succeed but reject
them if they fail
- makes ppl with LSE very anxious to perform well
Social comparison and SE
-ppl compare themselves to others on performance, traits etc and the results of these
comparisons influence judgement of self worth
- social comparison -> I outperform others -> HSE and vice versa
Correlates of SE
1) Ppl w/ HSE have clearer and more certain views of themselves than ppl with LSE
2) SE is correlated with expectancies for success
-LSE ppl want to succeed just as much as HSE ppl
-Ppl w/ LSE expect not to succeed, ppl with HSE expect to succeed
-Ppl with HSE approach situations hoping to do good vs. ppl with LSE approach a
situation and hope to avoid failure
3) Ppl with HSE exhibit self enhancement
- attribute success to internal factors
- attribute failure to external factors
- To recall info about personal success better than personal failures
- To exaggerate their control over situations
Ppl with LSE consider themselves competent and capable but do not like themselves. Rather than
exhibiting self enchantment, they instead process info in a negatively bias fashion.
LSE correlates negatively with depression anxiety
Narcissism: a disposition (personality trait) that rep the extent to which ppl have excessive love
for themselves