The Self

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					             Chapter 3 - The Self

• What is the Self?

• What does the Self Do?
                 What is the Self?
                 Three Main Parts
•   Self Knowledge
     – Self Awareness
     – Self Schema
•   Interpersonal Self
     – Public Self
     – “Persona”
•   Agent Self
     – Executive Function
     – Active Self
     Where does the Self Come From?

• Interaction between biology and the
  sociocultural environment

  – Is there a self without others?
  – How is your self as defined related to
              Functions of the Self

• Organizational Function
    – Self-Knowledge/Schemas
    – Who am I?
    – How should I present myself?
•   Self-Regulation
    – Self-Control
    – How can I fit into Society?
    – What Roles should I fill?
       Cultural Differences of Selfhood
• Independent self-construal (Individualistic)
   – What makes the self different

• Interdependent self-construal (Collectivist)
   – What connects the self to the group
• Begins with Introspection
  – We don’t look inward much
  – When we do, we might not be aware of our
    true self

• Self-Focused Attention
  – Private self-awareness
  – Public self-awareness

• Usually involves evaluative comparison
         Purpose of Self-Awareness
• Self-regulation

• See how others view you

• Manage behavior as you pursue goals
        Self Compared to Standards
• Concepts of how things might possibly be
  – Ideals, norms, expectations, moral
    principles, laws, past experiences
  – Where do these standards come from?

• Around age 2, begin use of standards
  – Beginning of self-awareness
          Self Awareness Theory
1.Situation causes Self-Awareness

2.We become Self-Aware

3.We experience a Discrepancy

4.Options: Change or Escape
       Self-Awareness and Behavior
• Self-awareness
  – Improves behavior
  – Become more socially desirable
  – Research examples

• Escaping Self-Awareness
  – Why escape?
  – Methods
Where Self Knowledge Comes From
             1. Looking Outside
• Looking-Glass Self   (Cooley, 1902)
  – You imagine how you appear to others
  – You imagine how others will judge you
  – You develop an emotional response
• Generalized Other (Mead, 1934)
  – A combination of others’ opinions
       Evaluating Looking-Glass Self
• We do respond to feedback from others…
 but Self-Concept and other’s opinions of us
 are usually different.
• We may not know how people regard us
  – People are reluctant to give us negative
  – We may not be receptive to negative
               2. Looking Inside
• Introspection
  – Privileged Access
• Limitations of Introspection
  – Development – Children under 11
  – Nisbett and Wilson attack on privileged
    access (1977) - Lack of metacognition
  – We may know what we think and feel, but
    not why – automatic processes at work
           3. Looking At Others
• Social Comparison
  – Upward social comparisons

  – Downward social comparisons
            4. Look at our Behavior
• Self-Perception Theory    (Bem, 1965)
• Example
   – Intrinsic motivation
   – Extrinsic motivation
• Overjustification Effect (Deci, 1971)
   – Intrinsic motivation diminishes for activities
     associated with expected rewards
        Fluctuating Image(s) of Self
• Phenomenal Self (Working Self-Concept)
  – Unusual aspects about you become
  – Being lone member of some category
     • Heightens self-awareness
     • Can impair performance
          Self-Deception Strategies
• Self Serving Bias
• More skeptical of bad feedback
• Junk Mail Theory of Self-Deception
• Comparisons with those slightly worse
• Skew impressions of others to highlight own
  good traits as unusual
Self-Esteem, Self-Deception,
    and Positive Illusions
• High Self-Esteem
  – Positive views
• Low Self-Esteem
  – Absence of strong positive views
              Low Self-Esteem
• Research on Low Self-Esteem
  – Do not want to fail
  – Self-concept confusion
  – Focus on self-protection
  – More prone to emotional highs and lows
• Myth of Low-Self Esteem in United States
  Distorted Perceptions of Nondepressed
• Positive Illusions
   – Overestimate good qualities
   – Underestimate faults
   – Overestimate control over events
   – Unrealistically optimistic
   Why Do We Care About Self-Esteem?
• Sociometer Theory
  – Self-esteem is a measure of social
• Self-esteem feels good
  – Theory of terror management
   Negative Aspects of High Self-Esteem
• Narcissism
  – Subset of high self-esteem
  – Tend to be more aggressive and violent
• Higher Prejudice
  – Tend to think their group is better
           Pursuit of Self-Esteem
• May have harmful consequences
  – Can compromise pursuit of competence
  – Impairs autonomy
  – Pressure to meet expectations of others
  – Weakens individual intrinsic motivation
  – Impairs learning
  – Can damage relationships
  – Can be harmful to health
• Behaviors that convey an image to others
• Public Esteem
  – More important than private self-esteem
• Public Behavior
  – Acting for the audience
       Functions of Self-Presentation
• Social Acceptance
  – Increase chance of acceptance and
    maintain place within the group
• Claiming Identity
  – Social validation of claims to identity
            Good Self-Presentation
• Demonstrate Positive Traits
• Behave with Consideration of Audience
• Tradeoff
  – Tendency toward favorable presentation
• Modesty
  – More prevalent in long-term relationships
• Risky Behaviors
           What Makes Us Human?
• What makes us special?
  – Self-Awareness
  – Self-Concept
• Self is a human tool for
  – Gaining social acceptance
  – Participating in culture

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