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David Myers 11e The Self in a Social World 1. Spotlights and Illusions Spotlights Spotlight effect (Lawson, ‘2010) Belief that others are paying more.

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Presentation on theme: "David Myers 11e The Self in a Social World 1. Spotlights and Illusions Spotlights Spotlight effect (Lawson, ‘2010) Belief that others are paying more."— Presentation transcript:

1 David Myers 11e The Self in a Social World 1

2 Spotlights and Illusions Spotlights Spotlight effect (Lawson, ‘2010) Belief that others are paying more attention to one’s appearance and behavior than they really are Illusions Illusion of transparency (Stavitsky & Gilovich, 2003) Illusion that our concealed emotions leak out and can be easily read by others 2

3 Research Close-Up: On Being Nervous about Looking Nervous Examples of interplay between our sense of self and our social world Social surroundings affect our self-awareness Self-interest colors our social judgment Self-serving bias we attribute favorable outcomes to internal causes (self) We attribute unfavorable outcomes to external causes Self-concern motivates our social behavior We monitor our own and others’ behavior (Snyder) Social relationships help define our self Could mindful meditation help? 3

4 Self-Concept: Who Am I? A person’s answers to the question, “Who am I?” Take time to answer this question… Are your answers more relational (collectivist) or about self (individualist)? Which brain hemisphere helps you to recognize yourself? (Decety & Sommerville, 2003) Right? Left? 4

5 At the Center of Our Worlds: Our Sense of Self Schema Mental templates by which we organize our worlds) We bolster our self-schema by remembering things better that are consistent with it. (Kilstrom & Cantor, ’84) Self-schema Beliefs about self that organize and guide the processing of self-relevant information 5

6 Possible Selves Images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future Spend more time in the present! 6

7 Development of the Social Self What Determines Our Self-Concept? Roles we play Social identities we form Comparisons we make with others How other people judge us Surrounding culture 7

8 Development of the Social Self The Roles We Play New roles begin as playacting then become reality As we play them we begin to believe them (self perception theory, (D. Bem) Social Comparisons We compare ourselves with others and consider how we differ …Via Social Comparison theory (Festinger, ‘54) We tend to compare upward Who is your referent group? Can diminish satisfaction 8

9 Development of the Social Self Success and Failure Our daily experiences cause us to have empowerment or low self-esteem Remember Self-esteem Competence? Other People’s Judgments Looking-glass self (Cooley, 1902 –sociologist) How we think others perceive us is a mirror for perceiving ourselves 9

10 Self and Culture Individualism Concept of giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications Independent self Western cultures 10

11 Self and Culture Collectivism Giving priority to the goals of one’s group and defining one’s identity accordingly Interdependent self Asian, African, and Central and South American cultures 11

12 Self and Culture Culture and Cognition Richard Nisbett’s The Geography of Thought (2003) Contends that collectivism results in different ways of thinking Asians tend to think more in relationships than Americans Americans see choices as expressions of themselves. Which focus more on the focal object/background? Japanese / Americans? What does this tell us? 12

13 Self and Culture Culture and Self-Esteem In collectivist cultures Self-concept is context-specific rather than stable Conflict takes place between groups Persist more when failing In individualistic cultures Self-esteem is more personal and less relational Persist more when winning Conflict takes place between individuals Crime Divorce In your opinion, which culture is ‘better’? 13

14 Self-Knowledge Explaining Our Behavior Do we know what affects our mood? Predicting Our Behavior Can your roommate predict the longevity of your romantic relationship better than you? (McDonald & Ross, ‘97) Planning fallacy Tendency to underestimate how long it will take to complete a task What are the implications for goal setting In job or in school? 14

15 Self-Knowledge Predicting Our Feelings (Gilbert & Wilson) Studies of “affective forecasting” reveal people have the greatest difficulty predicting the intensity and the duration of their future emotions We underestimate the effects of situational cues Impact bias We overestimate the enduring impact of emotion-causing events How much time would you like on a island holiday? How long would it take to get over a job loss? Immune neglect Tendency to neglect the speed and strength of the “psychological immune system” which enables emotional recovery and resilience after bad things happen 15

16 Self-Knowledge The Wisdom and Illusions of Self-Analysis We often aren’t aware of how thinking brought an “aha” experience. Dual attitude (T. Wilson, “85) Mental processes that control or behavior are distinct from those we use to explain our behavior Automatic implicit attitudes regarding someone or something often differ from our consciously controlled, explicit attitudes What’s the difference in the two? How are we strangers to ourselves? Implicit ones change more slowly Self-reports are untrustworthy – no guarantee of their validity 16

17 Self-Esteem Our overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth What are your “domains” of SE? (Crocker & Wolfe) Attractive/smart/athletic/rich/loved? +++ Are is it “bottom up”? (Brown & Dutton?) What is the baby example? Feedback is best when it is true and specific Leads to high “self-efficacy” General praise…”you can do anything you want” -Can lead to unrealistic optimism What were you told in school? Competence feedback -> High Self-efficacy Which do better? Those failing were told “feel great about yourself-hold your head high” or “taking control will help” (Forsyth et al., 2007) 17

18 Self-Esteem Motivation Self-esteem maintenance What level is best to have? Hi/med/lo? Self-esteem threats occur among friends whose successes can be more threatening than that of strangers (remember social comparison theory?) Referent others Terror Management Theory states humans must find ways to manage their fear of death. 18

19 The “Dark Side” of Self-Esteem Narcissism Delroy and Williams (2002) “The Dark Triad” of negative traits Narcissism Machiavellianism (manipulativeness) Over time: college students’ (Twenge, ‘06) Narcissism Empathy Hi Narcissims > more “hooking up”, gambling, cheating Me generation Need for autonomy/ competence/relationships (E. Deci) 19

20 Perceived Self-Control Effortful self-control depletes our limited willpower reserves… controlling emotions during upsetting film resulted in Showing more aggression and fighting with their partner Became less restrained in sexual thoughts and behaviors DeWall et al., ‘07 Finkel & Campbell, ‘01) Our brain’s “central executive” consumes available blood sugar when engaged in self-control 20

21 Self-Efficacy (Albert Bandura) What’s the difference between self-esteem and self- efficacy? How competent we feel on a task Leads us to set challenging goals and to persist Competency + persistence = accomplishment / self confidence …if you have control over the outcome! 21

22 Locus of Control (Julien rotter) Who would you rather dance with? Extent to which people perceive outcomes as internally controllable by their own efforts and actions or as externally controlled by chance or outside forces 22

23 Learned Helplessness versus Self- Determination Learned Helplessness Hopelessness and resignation learned when a human or animal perceives no control over repeated bad events Martin Seligman Self-Determination Development of self-discipline in one area of your life may cause self-control in other areas as well Edward Deci 23

24 The Costs of Excess Choice Excess Freedom Too many choices can lead to dissatisfaction with our final choice People tend to be generally happier with decisions when they can’t undo them So does love cause marriage or does marriage cause love? 24

25 Self-Serving Bias Tendency to perceive oneself favorably Explaining positive and negative events Self-serving attributions Tendency to attribute positive outcomes to oneself and negative outcomes to other factors Contribute to marital discord, worker dissatisfaction, and bargaining impasses How so? I got an “A” in social ψ Dr. Mitchell gave me a “C” in social ψ “only others fall prey to the self-serving bias!” 25

26 Self-Serving Bias Can We All Be Better than Average? Lake Wobegon effect “all the children are above average” Most people see themselves as better than the average person on the following dimensions Subjective Socially desirable Common dimensions On which of the above is the phenomenon more pronounced ? Why? 26

27 Self-Serving Bias Areas in which we believe we are above average … but sometimes you’re right….but how will you know when? Ethics Professional competence Virtues Intelligence Parental support Health Attractiveness Driving 27

28 Self-Serving Bias Unrealistic Optimism Is on the rise Illusory optimism increases our vulnerability Remember the tendency to underestimate the strength of situational cues on our ability to self-control? How does this explain the 2008 housing bubble? Defensive Pessimism (Julie Norem, ‘2000) Adaptive value of anticipating problems and harnessing one’s anxiety to motivate effective action 28

29 Self-Serving Bias False Consensus Effect Tendency to overestimate the commonality of one’s opinions and one’s undesirable or unsuccessful behaviors Why do you think integrity tests for employment work? False Uniqueness Effect Tendency to underestimate the commonality of one’s abilities and one’s desirable or successful behaviors 29

30 Self-Serving Bias Explaining Self-Serving Bias Self-serving bias is a by-product of how we process and remember information about ourselves Self-Serving Bias may be Adaptive Protects people from depression Depressed people may be more in tune with reality! Maladaptive Why didn’t I get the big merit raise? Group-serving bias 30

31 Self-Presentation (Barry Schlenker) Wanting to present a desired image both to an external audience (other people) and to an internal audience (ourselves) It’s a good thing in employment interviews! Self-Handicapping (fear of failure) Protecting one’s self-image with behaviors that create a handy excuse for later failure Self-Monitoring Tendency to act like social chameleons Twin truths: self-efficacy and self-serving bias Find the middle ground through careful self-reflection! 31


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