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Chapter 5

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University of Toronto St. George
Elizabeth Page- Gould

Chapter 5: Self Knowledge and the Need to Maintain Self-Esteem THE NATURE OF THE SELF Self-concept: contents of the self; our knowledge about who we are the “rouge test” proved that animals are aware of themselves too people develop a self-concept at about the age of 2 as we grow older we place less emphasis on physical characteristics (brown eyes, black hair) and more on our psychological states (our thoughts and feelings) people who are low in self-concept clarity are more likely to be neurotic, and have low self-esteem Self-awareness: act of thinking about ourselves Self-schemas: mental structures that people use to organize their knowledge about themselves and that influence what they notice, think about, and remember about themselves Ex: Sarah plays volleyball and then watches a movie with a friend, since athleticism is an important part of her self-schema, she will think about and remember the volleyball game more than the movie Ex2: Sam is a talented actor and athlete, Sarah is more likely to notice and remember his athletic skills Self-reference effect: tendency for people to remember info better if they relate it to themselves Independent view of the self: defining oneself in terms of one’s own internal thoughts, feelings, and actions and not in terms of other people Interdependent view of the self: defining oneself in terms of one’s relationships to other people; recognizing that one’s behaviour is often determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others Women’s self concepts reflect more relational interdependence meaning that they focus more on their close relationships (how they feel about their romantic partner or child) Men’s self concepts reflect collective interdependence; they focus more on social groups and the sports teams to which they belong KNOWING OURSELVES THROUGH INTROSPECTION Introspection: whereby people look inward and examine their own thoughts, feelings, and motives when people introspect, their feelings and behaviour can be hidden from conscious awareness people don’t rely on this source of information as often as you might think people spend very little time thinking about themselves only 8% of thoughts are about the self, most of the time people think about work, chores, and time Self-awareness theory: when people focus their attention on themselves, they evaluate and compare their behaviour with their internal standards and values (we become self-conscious- we become objective, judgmental observers of ourselves) Sometimes people go further in their attempt to escape the self:  Get drunk- one way of avoiding negative thoughts about oneself (temporarily)  Suicide- ultimate way of ending self-scrutiny Causal theories: theories about the causes of one’s own feelings and behaviours. Typically we learn such theories from our culture (“absence makes the heart grow fonder”, “I’m in a bad mood because I only got 4 hours of sleep, or its Monday or because it’s that time of the month”) KNOWING OURSELVES BY OBSERVING OUR OWN BEHAVIOUR Self-perception theory: theory that when our attitudes and feelings are uncertain, we infer these states by observing our behaviour and the situation in which it occurs Intrinsic motivation: desire to engage in an activity because we enjoy it or find it interesting, not because of external pr
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