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Chapter 11

PS275 chapter 11.docx

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Colleen Loomis

PS275 – Chapter 11 – Self and Social Understanding Emergence of Self and Development of Self-Concept  During the second year, toddlers become consciously aware of the self’s physical features  Red mark example  Self recognition – identification of the self as a physically unique being is well underway  Sensitive caregiving promotes early self-development  Compared to their insecurely attached agemates, securely attached toddlers – whose parents provide a secure base for exploration – display more complex self related actions during play, such as making a doll labelled as the self take a drink or kiss a teddy bear  Joint attention seems to offer toddlers many opportunities to monitor and compare their own and others’ reactions to objects and events which promotes self-awareness  Nso mothers engage in less face-to-face communication and object stimulation and more body contact and physical stimulation of their babies  Soon children realize the self can be the focus of others’ intentions and emotional reactions  Self awareness also leads to first efforts to understand another’s perspectives  Mirror self-awareness precedes the appearance of sustained, mutual peer imitation – a partner banging an object, the toddler copying the behaviour, the partner imitating back and the toddler copying again The Categorical, Remembered and Enduring Selves  Between 18 and 30 months children develop a categorical self as they classify themselves and others on the basis of age (baby,boy,man), sex (boy or girl), physical characteristics (big, strong)  Remembered self – a more coherent portrait than is offered by the isolated, episodic memories of the first few years  The cultural influence box (in textbook) reveals, these narratives are a major means through which caregivers imbue the young child’s sense of self with cultural values  Enduring self – a view of themselves as persisting over time The Inner Self: Young Children’s Theory of Mind  Naïve theory of mind – a coherent understanding of their own and others’ rich mental lives  Children refer to mental states frequently and appropriately in everyday language  Inner self – private thoughts and imaginings  Over the first year of life, infants build an implicit appreciation of people as animate being whose behaviour is governed by intentions, desires and feelings  Desire theory of mind – they think people always act in ways consistent with their desires and do not understand that less obvious , more interpretive mental states, such belief also affect behaviour  Belief-desire theory of mind – a more sophisticated view in both beliefs and desires determine actions and they understand the relationship between these inner states  From early to middle childhood, efforts to alter others’ belief increase, suggesting that children more firmly realize the power of belief to influence action  False beliefs – ones that do not represent reality accurately  Once belief-desire emerges, the capacity to use both beliefs and desires to predict people’s behaviour become a powerful tool for reflecting on thoughts and emotions and a good predictor of social skills  False-belief understanding predicts gains in 3-4 year olds’ sociodramatic play – specifically the capacity to engage in joint planning, to negotiate pretend roles and to imagine verbally without the support of real objects  Once children grasp the relation between beliefs and behaviour, they refine their understanding, applying it to a wider range of situations. o Ex// children who pass false belief tasks have accurate eyewitness memories o They realize that one person can present misinformation to another, wich can affect the second individuals belief.  School-age children soon use their grasp of the relation between beliefs and behaviour to persuade others  In sum, development of a belief-desire theory strengthens children’s sensitivity to people’s belief and promotes their reasoned attempts to change those beliefs. As a result, it contributes to many social competencies  Children who spontaneously use, or are trained to use, complex sentences with mental-state words are especially likely to pass false-belief tasks  Like language, cognitive skills enhance children’s capacity to reflect on their experiences and mental states  Gains in cognitive inhibition predict false-belief understanding particularly strongly, perhaps because to do well on false-belief tasks, children must suppress an irrelevant response – namely, the tendency to assume that others’ knowledge and beliefs are the same as their own Self- Concept  The set of attributes, abilities, attitudes and values that an individual believes defines who he or she is.  Children often make social comparisons – judging their own appearance, abilities and behaviour in relation to those of others  Young adolescents unify separate traits (smart and curious) into more abstract descriptors (intelligent) Cognitive, Social and Cultural Influences on Self-Concept  The changing content of the self is a product of both cognitive capacities and feedback from others  G. Mead described the self as a generalized other – a blend of what we imagine important people in our lives thinks of us o he proposed that a psychological self emerges when children adopt a view of the self that resembles others’ attitude toward the child o Mead’s idea indicate that perspective-taking skills in particular an improve ability to infer what other people are thinking are crucial for developing a self-concept based on personality traits  In middle childhood, children also look to more people beyond the family for information about themselves as they enter a wider range of setting in school and community Self-Esteem: The Evaluative Side of Self-Concept  Self esteem – the judgments we make about our own worth and the feelings associated with those judgments  The structure of self-esteem depends on evaluative information available to children and their ability to process that information  At age 6 to 7 children have formed at least four broad self-evaluations: academic competence, social competence, physical/athletic competence and physical appearance  School-age children’s newfound ability to view themselves in terms of stable dispositions enables them to combine their separate self-evaluations into a general psychological image of themselves (an overall sense of self-esteem)  Consequently, self-esteem takes on the hierarchical structure. Separate self-esteems, however do not contribute equally to general self-esteem  Children attach greater importance to certain sel
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