Presentation on theme: "The Flexible Self Dr. Louise McHugh University College Dublin."— Presentation transcript:
The Flexible Self Dr. Louise McHugh University College Dublin
Where is your ‘self’?
Ferrari et al 2008 YOU ARE HERE!
I was so stressed yesterday, I wasn’t myself! Then who were you?
A sense of self? Only humans have a sense of self Why? Humans have language
Symbolic relationships between things… Is what allows us to make sounds that other people understand rather than simply pointing and grunting at things ‘HAT’ ‘Kelly’
Relationships based on cues Physical Relationships = CONTEXTUAL CUE
= IS SAME AS CONTEXTUAL CUE Nic BAD OK GOOD BADNic
Language We also learn to manipulate it through sound and symbols Milk Please! Just as we learn to manipulate the environment with our body and hands
Same as (‘Jumjaw is the same as dog’) Opposite (‘Day is opposite to Night’) Different (‘Boys are different from Girls’) Comparison (‘£1 is more than 10p’) Perspective (‘I am here and you are there’) We can relate in many ways
If someone has a fear of dogs, and they are told that ‘jumjaw’ is another word for dog, then fear may be elicited upon hearing ‘Here comes a jumjaw!’ ‘DOG’ is a ‘Jumjaw’ is a Psychological Function Transformation of Functions Psychological Function
So language is responding to abstract relations So what does that have to do with the ‘self’? ‘I think therefore I am’ No Rene – you learn to verbally discriminate your own behavior from others behavior - therefore you are
I had a banana for breakfast No silly I had a banana for breakfast What did YOU have for breakfast?
I feel happy I am happier than you! I am a happy person! As a child begins to relate more and more of their own behavior… …and to compare it with that of others… …they begin to have a concept of self I feel sad I am not as happy as you I am a depressed person!
‘The key to a happier world is the growth of compassion’ Dalai Lama Understanding others?
Theory of Mind Module I Know what you are thinking! I have a ‘module’ in my brain that tells me!
I versus YOU HERE versus THERE NOW versus THEN Perspective relations specify a relation in terms of the perspective of the speaker Consider the three relations of: CBS Approach to Perspective- Taking
Each time a child is asked or answers questions such as: “ What are you doing here? ” “ What was I doing then? ” “ What am I doing now? ” “ What were you doing there? ” the physical environment will likely be different… The only constant across such questions are the relational properties of: I versus You Here versus There Now versus Then CBS Approach to Perspective- Taking
Relation Type I / YOU HERE / THERE NOW / THEN Complexity Simple Relations Reversed Relations Double Reversed Relations Two important variables: McHugh, et al., (2004) CBS Approach to Perspective- Taking
A Simple Relation Task I have a white brick and you have a red brick Which brick do you have? Which brick do I have?
I am sitting here on the blue chair and you are sitting there on the black chair and YOU were ME Where would I be sitting? Here:There: A Reversed Relation Task If I was YOU Where would you be sitting?
Yesterday I was sitting there on the black chair, today I am sitting here on the blue chair and NOW was THEN and THEN was NOW Where would I be sitting now? Now: Then: A Double Reversed Relation Task Where would I be sitting then? If HERE was THERE and THERE was HERE Here: There:
3-5 year olds perform worst I don’t know! McHugh, et al., 2004 If I was YOU where would I be sitting?
–Figure 2. Within subject analysis for Aladdin. Multiple baseline across levels of Complexity includes data series for each deictic relational frame. The lower panel represents Theory of Mind probe percentages. It can be trained Weil et al., (2010) Simple Reversed Double Reversed
More relating on tasks about others? Example of Self Belief task If I put the pencils in the smarties box and you are not there I would think the smarties box contains SMARTIES (F) Example of Other’s Belief task If you put the pencils in the smarties box and I am not there You would think the smarties box contains PENCILS (T) McHugh, et al., (2007)
SIGNIFICANT* OTHER SELF Response TimesResponse Times Trial-Type * There were significant differences in response times between Self versus Other tasks (p <.05)* Self belief tasks involve less relating
Autism-related and schizophrenia spectrum disorders
ASD: Rehfeldt, et al., 2007 Children with high-functioning autism or asperger syndrome performed worse on the RFT PT protocol than their age-matched typically developing counterparts Children diagnosed with ASD do worse
Villatte, et al. (2009): Patients with Schizophrenia Controlled for IQ Patients do worse on reversed and double reversed Simple Reversed Double Reversed
Villatte, et al. (2010): Patients with Schizophrenia 0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1 Self/True beliefSelf/False beliefOther/True beliefOther/False belief Trial type Proportion of participants scoring over 0.67 Controls Patients Patients do worse on other and false belief
Villatte, et al. (2010) Non-clinical pts high social anhedonia SA do worse on double reversed
Belief attribution SA do worse on other belief
So how does this link to ACT?
Double Edged Sword Verbal self-knowledge is a two-edged sword It can be important and beneficial to human beings while it can also be a cause of pain and suffering
Were as smart as Dermot Comparison is a bitch ‘I wish I…’ Were as young as I am in this photo! Had great hair like Russ Were as good at presenting as Robyn
Even if you are a mega star… 1969 I am not good enough as I am. In order to be good enough I need to look a certain way I am not good enough as I am. In order to be good enough I need to look a certain way
3 Selves in ACT Self as content Story Self as process Contacting the present Self as context Flexible Perspective Taking
SELF AS CONTENT I’m not good enough. I am too anxious SELF AS CONTENT I’m not good enough. I am too anxious SELF AS PROCESS I HERE NOW notice my thoughts and feelings and what I can see, hear, touch taste and smell SELF AS PROCESS I HERE NOW notice my thoughts and feelings and what I can see, hear, touch taste and smell EMPATHY I HERE NOW notice that you are feeling sad EMPATHY I HERE NOW notice that you are feeling sad SELF COMPASSION I HERE NOW notice my pain and respond with kindness SELF COMPASSION I HERE NOW notice my pain and respond with kindness TRANSCENDENT SELF I HERE NOW am the observer of my thoughts and feelings TRANSCENDENT SELF I HERE NOW am the observer of my thoughts and feelings
Training Flexible Perspective Taking Step 1. Basic Perspective Training‘If I were you, where would I be?’ ‘If I were you and here was there, where would I be?’ Step 2. Empathy Training‘I feel sad. If you were me, how would you feel?’ ‘I’ve won a prize. If you were me, how would you feel?’ Step 3. Self-as-Context‘I watch thoughts and feelings come and go. Who is it that is watching them?’ Vilardaga & Hayes, 2009