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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Self-Knowledge and the Need to Maintain Self-Esteem.pdf

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Psychology 2070A/B

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Chapter 5: Self-Knowledge and the Need to Maintain Self-Esteem January-27-14 8:41 AM The Nature of the Self - William Jamesdescribed the basic duality of our perception of self: → Self-concept, and → Self-awareness SELF-CONCEPT:The contents of the self; that is, our knowledge about who we are SELF-AWARENESS: The act of thinking about ourselves Functions of the Self: Self-Regulation - The self serves an executive function, regulating people's behavior, choices, and plans for the future - The self-regulatory resource model:Self-control is a limited resource, like a musclethat gets tired with frequent use but then rebounds in strength The Contentof the Self: Self-Schemas SELF-SCHEMAS: An organized body of knowledge about the self (e.g., attitudes, preferences, traits) that influences what people notice, think about, and remember about themselves SELF-REFERENCE EFFECT: The tendency for people to remember information better if they relate it to themselves - When people are motivated to see themselves as possessing a desired quality or trait, they conduct a selective memory search for examples of past behaviors consistent with that trait — this body of evidence then allows them to draw the "rational" conclusion that the desirable trait is part of their self -schemas Self-Concept Clarity - Self-conceptclarity is defined as the extent to which knowledge about the self is stable, and clearly and consistently defined - There is a link between low self-concept clarity and low self-esteem Cultural Differencesin Definingthe Self - In many Western cultures, people have an independent view of the self INDEPENDENTVIEWOF THE SELF:Defining oneself in terms of one's own internal thoughts, feelings, and actions, and not in terms of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of other people - In contrast, many Asian and other collectivist cultures have an interdependent view of the self INTERDEPENDENTVIEWOF THE SELF:Defining oneself in terms of one's relationships to other people; recognizing that one's behavior is often determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others Gender Differences in Defining the Self - Women'sself-concepts reflect more relational interdependence, meaningthat they focus more on their close relationships - Men tend to define themselves in terms of social groups, known as collective interdependence Knowing Ourselves through Introspection INTROSPECTION:The process whereby people look inward and examinetheir own thoughts, feelings, and motives - Much of the self may be unknown Focusing on the Self: Self-Awareness Theory SELF-AWARENESS THEORY: The idea that when people focus their attention on themselves, they evaluate and compare their behavior with their internal standards and values - Self-awareness makes us conscious of our internal standards and directs our subsequent behavior Cultural Differences in Self-Awareness - East Asians are more likely to have an outside perspective on the self, viewing themselves through the eyes of other people - People who grow up in Westerncultures are morelikely to have an insider perspective on the self, focusing on their own private experienceswithout considering how other people see them  STUDY:  American college students who filled out a questionnaire in front of a mirror noticed more discrepancies between their ideal and actual selves than did American college students who filled out the questionnaire without a mirror present  The presence of a mirror had no effect on the answers of Japanese college students JudgingWhyWe Feel the WayWe Do: Telling More ThanWe Can Know - Richard Nisbett and Tim Wilson referred to the phenomenon of always being able to come up with an explanation for why we feel a certain way as "telling more than we know" because people's explanations or their feelings and behavior often go beyond what they can reasonably know CAUSAL THEORIES: Theories about the causes of one's own feelings and behaviors; typically, we learn such theories from our culture (e.g., "absence makes the heart grow fonder") Knowing Ourselves by Observing Our Own Behavior SELF-PERCEPTION THEORY: The theory that when our attitudes and feelings are uncertain or ambiguous, we infer these states by observing our behavior and the situation in which it occurs IntrinsicversusExtrinsicMotivation INTRINSIC MOTIVATION: The desire to engage in an activity because we enjoy it or find it interesting, not because of external rewards or pressures EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION: The desire to engage in an activity because of external rewards or pressures, not because we enjoy the task or find it interesting - Intrinsic motivation is positively correlated with persistence and has relationship benefits The Overjustification Effect - Extrinsic rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation OVERJUSTIFICATION EFFECT: The case whereby people view their behavior as caused by compelling extrinsic reasons, making them underestimate the extent to which their behavior was caused by intrinsic reasons Preserving Intrinsic Interest - Rewards will undermine interest only if interest was high initially - The type of re
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