Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 The Self: Learning about the Self Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall What is the Self? The set of beliefs we hold about who we are is called the self-concept; While self-esteem is the evaluation we make of ourselves. 2

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall What is the Self? Infancy: one recognizes that one is a separate individual Childhood: one labels personal qualities and abilities Adolescence: the self becomes critically important as a basis for making life decisions

Middle & Late Adulthood: the self continues to change, though generally not as extensively 3 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Conceptual Representations of the self 4 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall What is the Self? Self-esteem is the evaluation we make of ourselves.

People who are high in self-concept clarity are more likely to be high in self-esteem. We have an overall sense of self-esteem as well as self-esteem in more specific domains. We also have implicit or less conscious self-esteem as well as explicit selfesteem. 5 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall

Sources of Self-Knowledge Socialization Reflected Appraisal Feedback from Others Self-Perception Labeling Arousal States Environmental Distinctiveness Social Comparison

Social Identity Ethnic Identity 6 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Sources of Self Knowledge Socialization: how a person acquires the rules, standards, and values of his or her family, group, and culture. Reflection Appraisals: selfevaluation based on the 7

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Sources of Self Knowledge Self-Perception Theory: posits that people sometimes infer their attitudes from their overt behavior, rather than from their internal state. Social Identity: the part of an individuals self-concept that derives from his or her membership in a social group. 8

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Sources of Self Knowledge Ethnic Identity is an important part of self-knowledge that comes from membership in a particular ethnic group and participation in the groups valued activities. Bicultural Competence: working knowledge and appreciation of two cultures. 9

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Sources of Self-Knowledge Western Independent Emphasizes uniqueness Separate from others Stable across situations Eastern/Latin Interdependent Emphasizes shared attributes Emphasizes social relationships Changing across

situations 10 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Sources of Self-Knowledge Independent Self: the sense of oneself as bounded, unitary, and separate from social context. Interdependent Self: the sense of self as flexible, variable, and connected to the social context. 11

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Aspects of Self-Knowledge Self-schemas describe how people think about their personal qualities in a particular domain. They: Guide behavior in relevant situations. Aid memory for relevant information Influence inferences, decisions, and

judgments 12 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Aspects of Self-Knowledge Possible selves: schemas that people hold concerning what they may or could become in the future. represent hopes and fears for the future help people focus and organize plans for pursuing goals.

13 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Aspects of Self-Knowledge Self-Discrepancies: discrepancies between how we perceive ourselves and how we would ideally like to be or believe others think we could be. Ideal Self: the personal attributes one would like to have.

Ought Self: the personal attributes one believes one should possess. 14 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Regulation Self-regulations refers to the way in which people control and direct their own actions. Working Self-Concept refers to those aspects of the self-concept that are salient in a particular situation. an athlete and her

performance 15 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Regulation Self-Complexity: refers to the number of dimensions that people use to think about themselves. People with only one or two predominant ways of viewing themselves are more vulnerable to failures Those with a variety of qualities to focus on can buffer against the effects of failure when their

self-conceptions are positive. 16 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Regulation Self-efficacy beliefs are the expectations we have about our ability to accomplish certain tasks. They are highly specific perceptions of control and competence. 17 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall

Self-Regulation Self-awareness refers to experiencing oneself as an object of ones own attention. Public Self-Consciousness refers to a tendency to be concerned with how one appears to others. Private Self-Consciousness refers to a tendency to focus on the internal self. 18

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Regulation Cybernetic Theory of Self-Regulation: Self-awareness leads people to evaluate their behavior against a standard and to adjust their behavior until it either meets the standard or they give up. 19 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self

People generally seek an accurate, stable, and positive self-concept. People have a need for a consistent self-concept. People are motivated toward selfimprovement. 20 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self Self-Verification refers to seeking out

and interpreting situations that confirm ones self-concept. Self-Enhancement refers to the need to hold a positive view of oneself. Positive Illusions refer to mild, falsely positive self-enhancing perceptions of ones personal qualities. 21 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self

When are people likely to be more realistic than self-enhancing? When they are about to receive feedback from others When making decisions about goals When they are depressed or have low self-esteem 22 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall

Motivation and the Self Taylor and Brown (1988) argue that positive illusions are adaptive and promote a sense of well-being, positive social relationships, and the ability to engage in creative, productive work. 23 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self People from Western cultures are

more likely to self-enhance, Whereas, those from collectivist and interdependent cultures are often more likely to engage in selfcriticism. 24 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self Self-Affirmation Theory predicts that people will cope with threats to self-worth by affirming unrelated aspects of themselves. People high in self-esteem may be

more likely to use self-affirmation. Self-affirming may help people be less defensive and more accepting of criticism. 25 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self Terror Management Theory purports that people are fearful of their own mortality and seek to minimize their anxiety by holding a cultural world-view that makes sense of an otherwise threatening world having personal self-esteem that leads to the sense that one is an object of value

in a meaningful universe. 26 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self Tessers Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model states that other peoples performance reflects on our feelings about ourselves. Our feelings are a function of

our own relative performance, our closeness to the other, the personal relevance of the domain. 27 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self When people we are close to out perform us in a domain that is

personally relevant, we compare ourselves to them and feel envious. However, if the domain is not personally relevant, we will bask in the reflected glory of the other. 28 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Motivation and the Self Culture and Self-Enhancement The phenomenon of self-enhancement may represent an insight about the self that is culturally bound. The same is true for the concept of self-serving bias. Self-enhancement biases appear

stronger in cultures with an independent self-concept than in those with an interdependent self29 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Social Comparison Theory Social Comparison Theory, developed by Leon Festinger (1954) contends that: people have a drive to evaluate their opinions and abilities accurately;

in the absence of objective standards, people evaluate themselves by comparison with others; in general, people prefer comparisons with similar others. 30 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Social Comparison Theory The Goals of Social Comparison Accurate Self-Evaluation

Self-Enhancement Self-Improvement leads to downward social comparisons leads to upward social comparisons Sense of Communion 31 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall

Social Comparison Theory The Comparison Process Social comparison affects self-evaluations, moods, and responses to others. For example, Morse and Gergen (1970) placed an ad for a research assistant. Prospective candidates found themselves waiting in a room with either Mr. Clean or Mr. Dirty. Those who found themselves in a room with Mr. Clean experienced a drop in self-esteem,

while those who found themselves with Mr. 32 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Social Comparison Theory Related-Attributes Similarity refers to: Comparing ourselves with others based on a similarity of backgrounds and preparation. When a dimension is completely unfamiliar,

people compare themselves to both the best and the worst attributes 33 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Social Comparison Theory Social comparison can lead us to see ourselves as similar to others (assimilation) or different from them (contrast). 34 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall

Self-Presentation Self-presentation involves attempting to control the impressions we convey to others to obtain desired outcomes. Public self-presentations can affect our private self-concepts. To be successful in self-presentation, we need to be able to take the role of the other. 35 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall

Self-Presentation People generally intend to make a good impression. They do this by conforming to the norms of the situation self-promotion Ingratiation: flattering or doing favors 36

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Presentation Self-promotion can be tricky because it is easy to appear egotistical. Modesty is also a tricky selfpresentation strategy and is most effective when the person has a success that is well-known to 37 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Presentation

People with independent selfconcepts are more likely to engage in self-promotion since their goal is to reduce actualideal discrepancies People with interdependent selfconceptions are more likely to engage in preventative selfpresentations since their goal is to reduce actualought discrepancies 38 Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall

Self-Presentation Ineffective Self-Presentation Embarrassment occurs when there are disruptions, lapses, or flaws in selfpresentation. In the face of an ineffective presentation, one can make excuses. Excuses that attribute blame to external, uncontrollable causes are more effective than internal and controllable ones. 39

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Presentation Self-handicapping refers to engaging in actions that provide obstacles to success, so that failure can later be attributed to those obstacles. By arranging an excuse for failure beforehand, people preserve their self-esteem in case of a later 40

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Presentation Self-handicapping can be done through either behaviors or verbal claims. Men are much more likely than women to use behavioral self-handicaps, while both sexes use verbal ones. Self-handicapping may work in the short

term but has negative long-term consequences for performance and adjustment. 41 Taylor, Copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Self-Handicapping Subjects chose distractin g music as an excuse for failure. 42

Taylor, copyright 2006, Prentice Hall Culture and the Self: A Note The coverage of the self in this chapter has disproportionately emphasized the independent self. Many of the processes discussed may take a different form or be nonexistent in cultures with an interdependent self. 43

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