Who are you?
Social roles: student, daughter, boss, husband
Physical characteristics: tall, short, beautiful…
Intellectual: smart, curious, stupid, inquisitive…
Moods, Attitudes: optimistic, critical, energetic
Belief system: liberal, atheist, Christian
Skills: swimmer, carpenter, artist, musician,
Ethnic/cultural: Asian, Black, Irish, Latino/a
Socioeconomics: poor, rich, blue collar, white
collar, middle class, etc.
Identity and Communication
Identity is a foundation from which the
communication process operates.
Our social identities are powerful influences
on our views of ourselves and others and
how we communicate.
How Self-Concept Develops
Others’ images of you
importance of Reference Groups
Your Own Interpretations/Reflections
Characteristics of Self-Concept
Self awareness: do you really
Open self: known to self and others
Blind self: known only to others
Hidden self: known only to you
Unknown self: known to neither self nor
Influences on Self-Concept
Sex / Gender roles
The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Occurs when a person’s expectations of an
event/accomplishment/failure/etc. make that
more likely to happen
Your own S-F prophecy
Others S-F prophecy about you
Self-esteem vs. self-concept
Changing your self-concept
or improving self-esteem
Attack your self-destructive beliefs
Be realistic about yourself and the world
Don’t allow yourself to rationalize failure
Engage in self-affirmation
Seek out nourishing (but fair) people
Be reasonable: e.g., work on projects that
are comparable with your skills
The Perception Process
Perception is the process of selecting
cues from the environment, organizing
these cues into some coherent pattern,
and interpreting the pattern.
Stimulation / Selection
Our perceptions are highly selective, and
generally we're not aware of how we're
selecting information from the environment.
1. We pay attention only to those stimuli that
are essential to what we're doing.
2. In many other cases selecting information
takes place unconsciously.
To make sense of situations we select
information from our environment and
organize it to form meaningful patterns;
RIGID CATEGORIES INHIBIT
It's important to remember that we
created the categories in the first
place and that the differences
between the categories are a result
of how we created them.
Generalization is the result of normal learning
process. Through our everyday experiences
we learn how people behave.
Stereotyping is assuming that the
characteristics associated with the group
apply to all individuals in the group.
Adding a meaning (explanation) to the
Of course you need to remember that
by selecting and organizing you made
some interpretation already.
The degree of involvement
The degree of knowledge
Assumptions about human behavior
Attributions are our explanations for
why others behave as they do or
what causes them to behave the way
Errors in Attributions
EGOCENTRIC BIAS: We assume others
are like us
FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR/
EGO-PROTECTIVE BIAS: We judge
ourselves more charitable than we do
others - self serving bias
PREMATURE CLOSURE: we cling to first
PRINCIPLE OF NEGATIVITY: We favor
describe others' behavior;
give your interpretation of the other's
thoughts and/or feelings (refraining from
evaluating or judging - be objective, try to
include other options);
ask the other if our perceptions and
interpretations are accurate. Ask for