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The Self

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									The Self
    The Self in Social Psychology
• What is so social about the self?
   – humans are social animals
   – the self is constructed from social information
   – our social behaviors are influenced by self-related
     factors
             The Self-Concept
• William James (1890)
  – “I” and “me”
  – “me” is like a library
     • “known” self
     • self-concept
             The Self-Concept
• William James (1890)
  – “I” and “me”
  – “I” is like a reader
     • “knower” self
     • consciousness or awareness
            The Self-Concept
• self-schemas: cognitive generalizations
  about the self, derived from past experiences,
  that organize and guide processing of self-
  related information (Markus, 1977)
            The Self-Concept
• self-schemas
  – which traits are central to the self-concept
  – help us organize and process information about
    ourselves
             The Self-Concept
• self-schemas
  – schematic traits
     • defining ourselves or deciding how we feel about
       ourselves
     • schematic or aschematic
                  The Self-Concept
 • self-schemas
     – women participants: schematic for
       “independent” or “dependent” or aschematic
     – identify adjectives: “me” or “not me”
          • e.g., assertive, self-confident (independent)
          • e.g., conforming, cautious (dependent)




(Markus, 1977)
                                      The Self-Concept
                                14
   # of words judged as self-




                                12
                                10
          descriptive




                                 8
                                                             dep. adj.
                                 6                           indep. adj.
                                 4
                                 2
                                 0
                                     dep.   aschem.   ind.



(Markus, 1977)
                                      The Self-Concept
                                14
   # of words judged as self-




                                12
                                10
          descriptive




                                 8
                                                             dep. adj.
                                 6                           indep. adj.
                                 4
                                 2
                                 0
                                     dep.   aschem.   ind.



(Markus, 1977)
                                 The Self-Concept
                          2.8

                          2.6
     latency in seconds




                          2.4
                                                        dep. adj.
                          2.2                           indep. adj.

                           2

                          1.8
                                dep.   aschem.   ind.



(Markus, 1977)
                                 The Self-Concept
                          2.8

                          2.6
     latency in seconds




                          2.4
                                                        dep. adj.
                          2.2                           indep. adj.

                           2

                          1.8
                                dep.   aschem.   ind.



(Markus, 1977)
             The Self-Concept
• self-schemas
  – we are more sensitive to information that is
    congruent with traits that are central to our self-
    concept

  – self-schemas function much like other schemas
             The Self-Concept
• self-complexity
  – How many different traits?
  – How do they all fit together?
     • self-schemas active across situations?
                   The Self-Concept
 • self-complexity
      – 106 college students asked to sort trait adjectives
        to reflect their self-concepts in different roles
           • high self-complexity: lots of roles, little overlap
           • low self-complexity: fewer roles, more overlap




(Linville, 1985)
              The Self-Concept
• low self-complexity
  With Men     With Friends    With Family      Studies
Outgoing      Humorous        Humorous       Quiet
Playful       Relaxed         Playful        Studious
Reflective    Assertive       Reflective     Organized
Mature        Outgoing        Mature         Mature
Emotional     Mature          Assertive      Reserved
Assertive     Reflective      Outgoing       Industrious
Competitive   Soft-hearted
Relaxed
Humorous
               The Self-Concept
• high self-complexity
   At Home       At School     Social Life     Work Life
Lazy           Reflective    Outgoing        Industrious
Emotional      Reserved      Humorous        Rebellious
Relaxed        Unorganized   Quiet           Playful
Humorous       Lazy          Relaxed         Outgoing
Playful        Insecure      Playful         Assertive
Affectionate   Conformist    Insecure        Relaxed
Unorganized                  Impulsive
Soft-hearted
Not studious
                   The Self-Concept
 • self-complexity
      – student reported current stressors (e.g., academic
        expectations, financial concerns, relationship
        difficulties)
      – same measures 2 weeks later and measures of
        depression and illness




(Linville, 1985)
                   The Self-Concept
 • self-complexity
      – low self-complexity: stress predicts illness
      – high self-complexity: stress does not predict
        illness

      – high self-complexity can be a buffer for the
        effects of stress


(Linville, 1985)
            The Self-Concept
• self-esteem
  – the affective component of the self-concept
  – related to mental health, academic performance,
    physical health, well-being

  – biggest question: how to measure self-esteem
                Self-Esteem
• how to measure self-esteem
  – measures of different dimensions of self?
  – overall, global measure?
                   Self-Esteem
• Rosenberg (1965) self-esteem scale
  –   On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.
  –   At time, I think I’m no good at all. (reversed)
  –   I feel that I have a number of good qualities.
  –   I am able to do things as well as most others.
  –   I certainly feel useless at times. (reversed)
  –   I take a positive attitude toward myself.
                   Self-Esteem
• a function of the perceived differences
  between the actual self and the ideal self (e.g.,
  Higgins, 1987)

• William James (1890):

      self-esteem = successes / pretentions
                      Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – the difference between our self-concept and our
     self-guides affects how we feel about ourselves
      • actual self
      • ought self
                              self-guides
      • ideal self
                  Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – ought self: determined by our sense of duty,
     responsibility, or obligation (i.e., who we should
     be)
   – ideal self: determined by our hopes, wishes, and
     dreams, as well as those that others have for us
     (i.e., who we would like to be)
                   Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – failure to live up to:
                         own - guilt
         oughts
                   Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – failure to live up to:
                         own - guilt
         oughts
                       others - shame
                   Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – failure to live up to:
                         own - guilt
         oughts                             anxiety
                       others - shame
                   Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – failure to live up to:
                         own - guilt
         oughts                             anxiety
                       others - shame


                     own - disappointment
          ideals
                   Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – failure to live up to:
                         own - guilt
         oughts                                anxiety
                       others - shame


                     own - disappointment
          ideals
                      others - lack of pride
                   Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – failure to live up to:
                         own - guilt
         oughts                                anxiety
                       others - shame


                     own - disappointment
          ideals                                depression
                      others - lack of pride
                    Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – two things affect the discrepancies
      • accessibility
      • size
                   Self-Esteem
• self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987)
   – Killing Us Softly 3
Where Does the Self Come From?
• introspection
  – the process whereby people look inward and
    examine their own thoughts, feelings, and
    motives
     • Who am I?
     • Why do I do the things I do?
 Where Does the Self Come From?
 • introspection
      – the process of introspection is flawed
          • participants wore beepers for a week
          • asked to record what they were currently thinking
          • only 8% of recorded thoughts dealt with the self




(Csikszentmihalyi & Figurski, 1982)
 Where Does the Self Come From?
 • introspection
     – the process of introspection is flawed
          • participants taste-tested different jams
          • some asked to list reasons for jam preferences
          • listed reasons: agreed less with the Consumer Reports
            ratings




(Wilson & Schooler, 1991)
  Where Does the Self Come From?
 • introspection
      – all is not lost with introspection
          • behavior: cognition- or affect-driven?




(Millar & Tesser, 1986)
Where Does the Self Come From?
• self-perception
  – when internal cues are difficult to interpret,
    people gain self-insight by observing their own
    behavior (Bem, 1972)
  – “I am what I do”
     • e.g., “I must have really been hungry!”
  Where Does the Self Come From?
 • self-perception
      – participants evaluated a series of cartoons
      – instructed to either smile or frown
      – smiled: cartoons rated funnier and reported being
        happier
      – facial expressions can affect emotion through a
        process of self-perception
           • “If I’m smiling, I must be happy.”


(Laird, 1973)
Where Does the Self Come From?
• feedback from others
  – Cooley (1902): “looking glass self”
     • we come to know ourselves by observing others’
       reactions to us
  Where Does the Self Come From?
 • feedback from others
      – Catholic women: practicing or non-practicing
      – read a passage that contained sexual material
      – response time task by viewing pictures
      – IV: subliminal presentation of scowling face
        (Pope vs. unfamiliar man)
      – DV: ratings of own moral worth



(Baldwin et al., 1990)
  Where Does the Self Come From?

               7.8
               7.6
               7.4
               7.2
                 7                                     Unfamiliar
                                                       Face
               6.8                                     Pope's Face
               6.6
               6.4
               6.2
                 6
                         Practicing   Non-Practicing

(Baldwin et al., 1990)
  Where Does the Self Come From?

                8
                7
                6
                5
                                                   Unfamiliar
                4                                  Face
                3                                  Pope's Face

                2
                1
                0
                     Practicing   Non-Practicing

(Baldwin et al., 1990)
  Where Does the Self Come From?
 • feedback from others
      – If the Pope is an important authority figure, then
        his scowling face is used as a reflected appraisal
        to judge oneself.




(Baldwin et al., 1990)
Where Does the Self Come From?
• the social environment
  – the relative salience of different aspects of the
    self-concept can change self-descriptors
     • ethnicity?
     • religious background?

  – Did you write things in the “I am…” activity that
    are relevant to the classroom?
  Where Does the Self Come From?
 • the social environment
      – people tend to describe themselves in ways that
        set themselves apart from others in their
        immediate environment
          • boys from predominantly female families are more
            likely to cite their gender
          • racial minorities in classrooms more likely to mention
            race



(McGuire et al., 1978)
Where Does the Self Come From?
• social comparison
  – when we are in states of uncertainty, we tend to
    compare ourselves to others to assess our own
    traits and abilities (Festinger, 1954)
  Where Does the Self Come From?
 • social comparison
      – participants asked to make judgments of artwork
      – 2 (absolute scores: 60% vs. 40%) X 2
        (comparative scores: 20% higher vs. 20% lower)
      – asked to rate their own ability on the task




(Klein, 1997)
  Where Does the Self Come From?
           4.5
           4.3
           4.1
           3.9
           3.7
           3.5                           20% abv.
           3.3                           20% below
           3.1
           2.9
           2.7
           2.5
                 40% Score   60% Score


(Klein, 1997)
  Where Does the Self Come From?
           4.5
           4.3
           4.1
           3.9
           3.7
           3.5                           20% abv.
           3.3                           20% below
           3.1
           2.9
           2.7
           2.5
                 40% Score   60% Score


(Klein, 1997)
Where Does the Self Come From?
• social comparison
  – Who do we compare ourselves to?
     • upward social comparison
        – means of gaining self-knowledge
Where Does the Self Come From?
• social comparison
  – Who do we compare ourselves to?
     • downward social comparison
        – means to boost our egos or maintain our self-esteem
 Where Does the Self Come From?
 • social comparison
     – Who do we compare ourselves to?
          • cancer patients
          • like to affiliate with other patients who are adjusting
            well (upward social comparison)
          • like to compare themselves to others who are worse
            off (downward social comparison)




(Taylor & Lobel, 1983)
                   What Kind of Self?
 • positive illusions
     – people with depression or low self-esteem have
       more realistic views of themselves
          •   self-appraisals match the appraisals of others
          •   fewer self-serving attributions for success or failures
          •   less likely to exaggerate control
          •   more balanced predictions of the future
          •   less likely to make downward social comparisons



(Taylor & Brown, 1988)
                 What Kind of Self?
 • positive illusions
     – promote happiness, the desire to care for others,
       and ability to engage in productive work




(Taylor & Brown, 1988)
            What Kind of Self?
• positive illusions
   – but, can potentially lead to harmful behaviors
      • substance abuse
      • compulsive gambling
               Self-Presentation
• So far we’ve talked about:
  –   people create their own reality
  –   perceptions matter
  –   how we perceive other people
  –   how we perceive ourselves
               Self-Presentation
• So far we’ve talked about:
  –   people create their own reality
  –   perceptions matter
  –   how we perceive other people
  –   how we perceive ourselves

  – How do other people perceive us?
  – How can we influence how other people perceive
    us?
               Self-Presentation
• strategic self-presentation
   – What sorts of “faces” do we present?
   – How do we use those faces to satisfy self-
     presentational motivations? (Jones & Pittman, 1982)
      Strategic Self-Presentation
• ingratiation
   – desired impression: I am likeable
   – dilemma: ingratiation will be discovered
   – When will we ingratiate?
      • when it’s important to be liked
      • when it’s likely to work
      • when we think the strategy is legitimate
     Strategic Self-Presentation
• intimidation
  – desired impression: I am dangerous
  – dilemma: must be able to back it up
  – When will we intimidate?
     • when we can follow through with our threats
     • when the other person cannot get revenge
     • when we’re willing to give up approval or affection
     Strategic Self-Presentation
• self-promotion
  – desired impression: I am competent
  – dilemma: cannot be caught faking
  – When will we self-promote?
     • when objective data are not available to contradict us
     • when we know that we won’t contradict what others
       already know about us
     Strategic Self-Presentation
• exemplification
  – desired impression: I have integrity
  – dilemma: onstage and offstage behavior must
    match
  – When will we exemplify?
     • when we can behave in ways that back-up our claims
     • when we know that others will not see us offstage
     Strategic Self-Presentation
• supplication
  – desired impression: I am weak
  – dilemma: others might believe it too much
  – When will we supplicate?
     • when we are not responsible for our relative
       powerlessness
     • when we are interdependently vulnerable
  Differences in Self-Presentation
• self-monitoring (Snyder, 1974)
   – low self-monitors
      • Who am I? How can I be myself?
   – high self-monitors
      • Who does the situation want me to be? How can I be
        that person?
     Differences in Self-Presentation
 • effects of self-monitoring
      –   simulated job interview
      –   2 (ambitious vs. selfish) X 2 (success vs. failure)
      –   ratings of current mood after feedback
      –   HSM: felt better after success feedback
      –   LSM: felt better after failure feedback




(Jones et al., 1990)
    Differences in Self-Presentation
 • effects of self-monitoring
     – friendship choices
     – HSM: different friends for different activities
     – LSM: same friends across activities




(Snyder, Gangestad, & Simpson, 1983)
 Consequences of Self-Presentation
 • Does self-presentation work?
     – survey of recently hired university staff
     – frequency of self-presentational tactics
     – supervisors: rate likeability, performance,
       similarity
     – more self-presentation = more likeable and
       higher performance ratings



(Wayne & Liden, 1995)
 Consequences of Self-Presentation
 • Does self-presentation work?
     – the “slime effect”
     – read descriptions of 4 people:
          •    “slimy”: nice to superiors, but mean to subordinates
          •    “non-slimy”: opposite pattern
          •    uniformly positive
          •    uniformly negative
     – ratings: the “slimy” person was liked the least


(Vonk, 1998)
  Consequences of Self-Presentation
 • “Self-Presentation Can Be Hazardous for
   Your Health”
      – condom use
      – tanning as self-presentation
      – alcohol use and abuse




(Leary et al., 1994)
                  Conclusion
• the self is socially influenced and influences our
  social behaviors
• the self-concept is organized in self-schemas
• self-esteem is the affective component of the self-
  concept
• the self-concept is constructed through various
  processes
• situations can influence the self that we present
           Exam Information
• Exam 1 -- Monday, 2/21 at 6:20-8:15pm
• 50 multiple choice questions (1 point each)
  – text, lecture, and discussion sections
• 5 short essay questions (5 points each)
  – lecture and discussion section
           Exam Information
• multiple-choice questions
  – Based on the anchoring and adjustment heuristic,
    which of the following people would be most
    likely to overestimate the number of Honky Tonk
    bars in Texas?
        a. Jim, who just listened to Three Dog Night’s “One
           is the Loneliest Number.”
        b.Claude, who just counted by sevens to 3,206.
        c. Julia, who just reported that she has three siblings.
        d.Barbara, who just watched Disney’s 101
           Dalmatians.
           Exam Information
• short essay questions
  – In lecture, there were 5 different
    sources/processes mentioned as potential
    contributors to the self-concept (i.e., ways by
    which we develop a sense of self). (1) Identify 3
    of the sources/processes that were mentioned in
    lecture; (2) explain what each of the 3 identified
    sources/processes are; and (3) provide an
    example for each source/process you’ve
    identified.

								
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