aronson_6e_ch5_self by t4Ri061

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									                                       6th edition


Social Psychology
    Elliot Aronson
University of California, Santa Cruz

 Timothy D. Wilson
       University of Virginia

    Robin M. Akert
        Wellesley College

   slides by Travis Langley
   Henderson State University
Chapter 5
Self-Knowledge:
How We Come to
 Understand Ourselves

             Introspection is difficult and
               fallible.
             The difficulty is simply that of all
               observation of whatever kind.
                   — William James, 1890
In an early episode of the television show Friends, the character Ross faces a
dilemma. In trying to choose between Rachel who has finally shown interest in
him and Julie, his new girlfriend, Ross makes a list of the things he likes and
dislikes about each woman, to try to clarify his thoughts.
• Was it a good idea to make a list to help him understand his own feelings?
• More generally, what is the nature of the self, and how do people discover it?

                      Source of image: Source: http://www.friends-serie.de/image/6022.jpg
 THE NATURE OF THE SELF


Who are you?
How did you come to be this person you
 call “myself”?
The founder of American psychology,
 William James (1842–1910), described
 the basic duality of our perception of self.
                 Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
 THE NATURE OF THE SELF
• The self is composed of our thoughts and beliefs about
   ourselves, or what James (1890) called the “known,” or,
   more simply, the “me.”
• The self is also the active processor of information, the
   “knower,” or “I.”
In modern terms, we refer to the known aspect of the self as
   the self concept, which is the content of the self (our
   knowledge about who we are), and to the knower aspect
   as self-awareness, which is the act of thinking about
   ourselves.
These two aspects of the self combine to create a coherent
   sense of identity:
• Your self is both a book (full of fascinating content
   collected over time) and the reader of that book (who at
   any moment can access a specific chapter or add a new
   one).
 THE NATURE OF THE SELF
• Studies suggest that chimps
  and orangutans, and
  possibly dolphins, have a
  rudimentary self-concept.
• They realize that the image
  in the mirror is themselves
  and not another animal, and
  when someone alters their
  appearance, they recognize
  that they look different from
  how they looked before.
                   Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
 THE NATURE OF THE SELF
• Self-recognition develops at around age 2.
• As we grow older, this rudimentary self-concept
  becomes more complex.
• Typically, a child’s self-concept is concrete, with
  references to clear-cut, easily observable
  characteristics like age, sex, neighborhood, and
  hobbies.




                    Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
 THE NATURE OF THE SELF
• Self-recognition develops at around age 2.
• As we grow older, this rudimentary self-concept
  becomes more complex.
• Typically, a child’s self-concept is concrete, with
  references to clear-cut, easily observable
  characteristics like age, sex, neighborhood, and
  hobbies.
• As we mature, we place less emphasis on
  physical characteristics and more on
  psychological states (our thoughts and feelings)
  and on how other people judge us.
      Functions of the Self
Why do human adults have such a
  multifaceted, complex definition of self?
Researchers have found that the self
  serves both:
• An organizational function, and
• An executive function



                 Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
 ORGANIZATIONAL FUNCTION
      OF THE SELF
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.
 ORGANIZATIONAL FUNCTION
      OF THE SELF
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.
           Self-Reference Effect
           The tendency for people to
            remember information better if
            they relate it to themselves.
     SELF-REGULATION:
  THE EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
The self regulates behavior, choices, and
 future plans, much like a corporation’s
 chief executive officer.
We appear to be the only species
  that can:
• Imagine events that have not
  yet occurred, and
• Engage in long-term planning.


                  Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
Consider an approach to self control called
 the self-regulatory resource model.
According to this model, self control is a
 limited resource, kind of like a muscle that
 gets tired with frequent use but then
 rebounds in strength.

                 Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
To test this idea, researchers ask participants
  to exert self-control on one task, to see if this
  reduces their ability to exert control on a
  subsequent and completely unrelated task.
In one study, people instructed to suppress a
  thought (don’t think about a white bear) were
  worse at trying to regulate their emotions on
  a second task (try not to laugh while
  watching a comedy film), compared to people
  who did not first have to suppress their
  thoughts.
                    Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
Former smokers are more likely to take up smoking again when
  stressed.
    – Dealing with stress depletes the “self resource,” such that there
      is less to spend in other areas.
Similarly, efforts at self-control are more likely to fail at night,
  when the self resource has been depleted by a day of
  making choices and resisting temptations.
    – Dieters are more likely to break their diets at night.
    – People are best at self-control when they are well-rested, such
      as in the morning after a good night’s sleep.

                           Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
      Cultural Differences in
        Defining the Self
In many Western cultures, people have an
  independent view of the self.

 Independent View of the Self
 A way of 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.
      Cultural Differences in
        Defining the Self
In many Western cultures, people have an
  independent view of the self.

  Westerners learn to
  • Define themselves as quite separate
    from other people, and
  • Value independence and uniqueness.
       Cultural Differences in
         Defining the Self
In contrast, many Asian and other non-
  Western cultures have an
  interdependent view of the self.

Interdependent View of the Self
A way of 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.
      Cultural Differences in
        Defining the Self
In contrast, many Asian and other non-
  Western cultures have an
  interdependent view of the self.


 Connectedness and interdependence
  between people is valued,
  whereas independence and uniqueness
  are frowned on.
       Cultural Differences in
         Defining the Self

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
                              — American proverb
The nail that stands out gets pounded down.
                              — Japanese proverb




                  Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
       Cultural Differences in
         Defining the Self
We do not mean to imply that every
 member of a Western culture has an
 independent view of the self and that
 every member of an Asian culture
 has an interdependent view of the
 self.              Within cultures, there are
                      differences in the self-
                      concept, and these
                      differences are likely to
                      increase as contact between
                      cultures increases.
                  Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
        Gender Differences in
          Defining the Self
• Is there any truth to the stereotype
  that when women get together, they
  talk about interpersonal problems and
  relationships, whereas men talk about
  anything but their feelings (usually
  sports)?
• Although this stereotype of “clueless
  men” is clearly an exaggeration, it
  does have a grain of truth and reflects
  a difference in women’s and men’s
  self-concept.

                   Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
        Gender Differences in
          Defining the Self
• Women have more relational
  interdependence, meaning that they
  focus more on their close
  relationships, such as how they feel
  about their spouse or their child.
• Men have more collective
  interdependence, meaning that they
  focus on their memberships in larger
  groups, such as the fact that they are
  Americans or that they belong to a
  fraternity.

                   Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
        Gender Differences in
          Defining the Self
Starting in early childhood, American
  girls are more likely to:
• Develop intimate friendships,
• Cooperate with others,
• Focus their attention on social
  relationships.
Boys are more likely to focus on their
  group memberships.


                   Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
       Gender Differences in
         Defining the Self
When considering gender differences
 such as these, we need to be
 cautious: The psychological
 differences between men and women
 are far fewer than the ways in which
 they are the same.
Nevertheless, there do appear to be
 differences in the way women and
 men define themselves in the United
 States, with women having a greater
 sense of relational interdependence
 than men.

                  Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
   Knowing Ourselves through
         Introspection
Introspection
The process whereby people look inward and examine
   their own thoughts, feelings, and motives.




                   Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
   Knowing Ourselves through
         Introspection
Introspection
The process whereby people look inward and examine
   their own thoughts, feelings, and motives.




(1) People do not rely on this source of information as often as you
    might think.
(2) Even when people do introspect, the reasons for their feelings
    and behavior can be hidden from conscious awareness.
                         Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
        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 to their internal standards and values.
                   Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
        Focusing on the Self:
       Self-Awareness Theory
• Sometimes people go far in their attempt to
  escape the self.
• Such diverse activities as alcohol abuse, binge
  eating, and sexual masochism have one thing
  in common: All are ways of turning off the
  internal spotlight on oneself.
• Getting drunk, for example, is one way of
  avoiding negative thoughts about oneself (at
  least temporarily).
• The fact that people regularly engage in such
  dangerous behaviors, despite their risks, is an
  indication of how aversive self-focus can be.
       Focusing on the Self:
      Self-Awareness Theory
Self-focus is not always damaging or
  aversive.
• If you have just experienced a major
  success, focusing on yourself can be
  pleasant.
• Self-focus can also be a way of keeping
  you out of trouble, by reminding you of
  your sense of right and wrong.
 Judging Why We Feel the Way We Do:
    Telling More than We Can Know

Even when we are self-aware and introspect
  to our heart’s content, it can be difficult to
  know why we feel the way we do.

 • What is it about your sweetheart that made you
       fall in love?
 • How much does sleep affect your state of
       mind?
 • What really determines what mood you’re in?
Judging Why We Feel the Way We Do:
   Telling More than We Can Know
Causal Theories
Theories about the causes of one’s own
  feelings and behaviors; often we learn such
  theories from our culture.
e.g.: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”


The problem is that our schemas and theories are not
always correct and thus can lead to incorrect judgments
about the causes of our actions.
       The Consequences of
   Introspecting about Reasons
Tim Wilson and his colleagues have found that analyzing
    the reasons for our feelings is not always the best
    strategy and in fact can make matters worse.
When people list reasons why they feel as they do about
    their romantic partners, they often change their
    attitudes toward their partners, at least temporarily.
Why?
It is difficult to dissect the exact causes of our romantic
    feelings, so we latch on to reasons that sound good and
    that happen to be on our minds.
       The Consequences of
   Introspecting about Reasons
Reasons-Generated Attitude Change
Attitude change resulting from thinking about the reasons
   for one’s attitudes; people assume their attitudes match
   the reasons that are plausible and easy to verbalize.


 Remember the Friends episode we mentioned in which Ross makes
    a list of reasons for his feelings toward Rachel and Julie?
 As in the research studies, Ross found it easiest to verbalize
    reasons that did not match his feelings.
 Although he loved Rachel, he seemed unable to explain why, so he
    wrote things like “She’s just a waitress” and “She’s a little ditzy.”
       The Consequences of
   Introspecting about Reasons
If people base an important decision on their
   reasons-generated attitude (“Hmm, maybe my
   partner and I don’t have much of a future”), they
   might regret it later, when their original feelings
   return.
Several studies have found that the attitudes
   people express after analyzing their reasons do
   not predict their future attitudes and behavior
   very well.
   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.

1. We infer our inner feelings from our behavior only when
   we are not sure how we feel.
2. People judge whether their behavior really reflects how
   they feel or whether it was the situation that made them
   act that way.
     Intrinsic versus Extrinsic
             Motivation
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 reasons, not because we enjoy
 the task or find it interesting.
Intrinsic versus Extrinsic
        Motivation




   Source of image: http://www.congregationalbert.org/2000/2000-03/2000-03bbc.htm
     Intrinsic versus Extrinsic
             Motivation
Many teachers or parents reward kids for
 good grades with compliments, candy,
 gold stars, or toys.

Several years ago, Mel Steely, a professor
 at West Georgia College, started a
 program called Earning by Learning in
 which low-income children were offered
 $2 for every book they read.
                Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
     Intrinsic versus Extrinsic
             Motivation
But people are not rats, and we have to
  consider the effects of rewards on what’s
  inside—people’s thoughts about:
• Themselves,
• Their self-concept, and
• Their motivation to read in the future.
The danger of reward programs is that kids will
  begin to think they are reading to earn
  money, not because they find reading to be
  an enjoyable activity in its own right.
                  Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
     Intrinsic versus Extrinsic
             Motivation
But people are not rats, and we have to
  consider the effects of rewards on what’s
  inside—people’s thoughts about
    Overjustification Effect
• themselves
    The tendency of
• their self-concept people to view their
      behavior as caused by compelling
• their motivation to read in the future.
      extrinsic reasons, making them
The danger of reward programs is that kids will
      underestimate the extent to earn
  begin to think they are readingto which it
      was caused by intrinsic reasons.
  money, not because they find reading to be
  an enjoyable activity in its own right.
PRESERVING INTRINSIC INTEREST
Fortunately, there are conditions under
   which overjustification effects can be
   avoided.
1. Rewards will undermine interest only if
   interest was initially high.
   If a child has no interest in reading,
   getting him or her read by offering free
   pizza is not a bad idea because there is
   not initial interest to undermine.
PRESERVING INTRINSIC INTEREST
Fortunately, there are conditions under
   which overjustification effects can be
   avoided.
1. Rewards will undermine interest only if
   interest was initially high.
2. The type of reward makes a difference.
   Performance-contingent rewards might
   do better than task-contingent rewards.
PRESERVING INTRINSIC INTEREST
Task-Contingent Rewards
Rewards that are given for performing a
 task, regardless of how well the task is
 done.

 Performance-Contingent Rewards
 Rewards that are based on how well we
  perform a task.
  Understanding Our Emotions:
The Two-Factor Theory of Emotion
Consider how happy, angry, or afraid you feel
  at any given time.
How do you know which emotion you are
  experiencing?
This question probably sounds kind of silly;
  don’t we know how we feel without having to
  think about it?
The way in which we experience emotions,
  however, has a lot in common with the kinds
  of self-perception processes we have been
  discussing.
  Understanding Our Emotions:
The Two-Factor Theory of Emotion
Stanley Schachter (1964) proposed a
  theory of emotion that says we infer what
  our emotions are in the same way that we
  infer what kind of person we are or how
  interested we are in math games:
In each case, we observe our behavior and
  then explain why we are behaving that
  way.
The only difference is in the kind of
  behavior we observe.
  Understanding Our Emotions:
The Two-Factor Theory of Emotion
Two-Factor Theory of Emotion
Schachter’s idea that emotional experience
   is the result of a two-step self-perception
   process in which people:
1. Experience physiological arousal, and
   then
2. Seek an appropriate explanation for it.
  Understanding Our Emotions:
The Two-Factor Theory of Emotion
An implication of Schachter’s theory is that
   people’s emotions are somewhat arbitrary,
   depending on what the most plausible
   explanation for their arousal happens to be.
Schachter and Singer (1962) demonstrated this
   idea in two ways:
1. They prevented people from becoming angry
   by providing a nonemotional explanation for
   why they felt aroused.
2. They could make participants experience a
   very different emotion by changing the most
   plausible explanation for their arousal.
    Finding the Wrong Cause:
    Misattribution of Arousal
To what extent do the results found by
  Schachter and Singer (1962) generalize
  to everyday life?
Do people form mistaken emotions in the
  same way as participants in that study
  did?
In everyday life, one might argue, people
  usually know why they are aroused.
    Finding the Wrong Cause:
    Misattribution of Arousal
Misattribution of Arousal
The process whereby people make
 mistaken inferences about what is
 causing them to feel the way they do.

Residual arousal from one source (e.g.,
 caffeine, exercise, a fright) can enhance
 the intensity of how the person interprets
 other feelings (e.g., attraction to someone).
   Interpreting the Social World:
   Appraisal Theories of Emotion
Appraisal Theories of Emotion
Theories holding that emotions result from people’s
  interpretations and explanations of events, even
  in the absence of physiological arousal.


 Two kinds of appraisals are especially important:
 (1) Do you think an event has good or bad implications
     for you?
 (2) How do explain what caused the event?
  Interpreting the Social World:
  Appraisal Theories of Emotion
Schachter’s theory and cognitive appraisal
   theories differ on the role of arousal, but are
   not incompatible.
When aroused and not certain where this arousal
   comes from, how people explain the arousal
   determines their emotional reaction
   (Schachter’s two-factor theory).
When not aroused, how people interpret and
   explain an event determines their emotional
   reaction (cognitive appraisal theories).
       USING OTHER PEOPLE
       TO KNOW OURSELVES
Social contact is crucial to the development
 of a self-concept.




                 Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
   Knowing Ourselves by
Comparing Ourselves to Others
How do we use others to define ourselves?
One way is to measure our own abilities and
  attitudes by seeing how we stack up against
  other people.
• If you donate $50 to charity and find out
  your friend Sue donates $10, you can feel
  generous.
• If you find out Sue donated $100, you might
  not feel like you’ve been generous.
    Knowing Ourselves by
 Comparing Ourselves to Others
Social Comparison Theory
The idea that we learn about our own
  abilities and attitudes by comparing
  ourselves to other people.
The theory revolves around two important
    questions:
(1) When do you engage in social comparison?
(2) With whom do you choose to compare
    yourself?
   Knowing Ourselves by
Comparing Ourselves to Others
(1) When do you engage in social
  comparison?
  – When there is no objective standard to
    measure themselves against and when they
    experience some uncertainty about
    themselves in a particular area.
    Example: If your office donation program is
    new and you are not sure what amount
    would be generous, you are especially likely
    to compare yourself to others.
   Knowing Ourselves by
Comparing Ourselves to Others
(2) With whom do you choose to compare
 yourself?
  – People’s initial impulse is to compare
    themselves with anyone who is around.
  – This initial comparison occurs quickly and
    automatically.
   Knowing Ourselves by
Comparing Ourselves to Others
If we want to know the     You’ll feel better about
   top level to which we     yourself if you
   can aspire, we            engage in downward
   engage in upward          social comparison:
   social comparison:        comparing yourself to
   comparing ourselves       people who are
   to people who are         worse than you on a
   better than we are on     particular trait or
   a particular ability.     ability.
Knowing Ourselves by Adopting
    Other People’s Views
Charles Cooley (1902)
 described the “looking glass
 self,” by which he meant that
 we see ourselves and the
 social world through the
 eyes of other people and
 often adopt those views.


                Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
Knowing Ourselves by Adopting
    Other People’s Views
Social Tuning
The process whereby people adopt another
 person's attitudes.




               Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
                IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT:
                ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

Impression Management
The attempt by people to get others to
  see them as they want to be seen.
People have many impression management strategies.
Ingratiation
The process whereby people flatter, praise,
  and generally try to make themselves likable
  to another person, often of higher status.
                  Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
                   IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT:
                   ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

Impression Management
The attempt by people to get others to
  see them as they want to be seen.
People have many impression management strategies.
Ingratiation
 Self-Handicapping
 The strategy whereby people flatter, praise,
The processwhereby people create obstacles and
  and generally try to make themselves likable
   excuses for themselves so that if they do poorly on
   a task, they can avoid blaming themselves.
  to another person, often of higher status.
                     Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
                    IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT:
                    ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
There are two major ways in which people self-handicap.
1. People may create obstacles that reduce the likelihood
   they will succeed on a task so that if they do fail, they
   can blame it on these obstacles rather than on their
   lack of ability – drugs, alcohol, reduced effort on the
   task, and failure to prepare.
   Example: pulling an all-nighter before a test.
2. People devise ready-made excuses in case they fail –
   blaming shyness, test anxiety, bad moods, physical
   symptoms, and adverse events from their past.
   Example: complaining about not feeling well when you
   take a test.


                       Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
 Culture, Impression Management,
      and Self-Enhancement
Self-Enhancement
The tendency to focus on and present positive
  information about oneself and to minimize
  negative information .


 The desire to manage the image we present to
    others is strong in all cultures, though the
    kinds of images we want to present depend
    on the culture in which we live.
                                       6th edition


Social Psychology
    Elliot Aronson
University of California, Santa Cruz

 Timothy D. Wilson
       University of Virginia

    Robin M. Akert
        Wellesley College

   slides by Travis Langley
   Henderson State University

								
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