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Chapter 6 The Self. Self-Concept, continued The nature of the self-concept –Self-concept – “an organized collection of beliefs about the self”. –These.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 The Self. Self-Concept, continued The nature of the self-concept –Self-concept – “an organized collection of beliefs about the self”. –These."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 The Self

2 Self-Concept, continued The nature of the self-concept –Self-concept – “an organized collection of beliefs about the self”. –These beliefs are also called self- schemas and include personality traits, abilities, physical features, values, goals, & social roles (see Figure 6.1). –Possible selves – refer to “one’s conceptions about the kind of person one might become in the future”.

3 Figure 6.1. The self-concept and self-schemas. The self- concept is composed of various self-schemas, or beliefs about the self. Jason and Chris have different self-concepts, in part, because they have different self-schemas.

4 Self-Discrepancies Individuals have the following self- perceptions: –An actual self (qualities people think they actually possess). –An ideal self (qualities people would like to have). –An ought self (qualities people think they should possess).

5 Self-Discrepancies, continued Self-discrepancies –mismatches between the actual, ideal, and/or ought selves. These can cause various effects: Figure 6.2. –When the “actual self” falls short of the “ideal self”, we feel dejected and sad. –When the “actual self” falls short of the “ought self”, we feel irritable and guilty.

6 Figure 6.2. Types of self-discrepancies, their effects on emotional states, and possible consequences. According to E. Tory Higgins (1989), discrepancies between actual and ideal selves produce disappointment and sadness, whereas discrepancies between actual and ought selves result in irritability and guilt. Such self-discrepancies can make individuals vulnerable to more serious psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety-related disorders.

7 Self-Discrepancies, continued People cope with self-discrepancies by –Changing their behavior to bring it more in line with the ideal, or ought, self. –Blunting self-awareness by Avoiding situations that increase self- awareness, or By using alcohol (see Figure 6.3).

8 Figure 6.3. Self-awareness and alcohol consumption. Individuals who were high in self-awareness drank significantly more wine in a 15-minute period if they believed that they had performed poorly on an IQ test than did any other group. This finding shows how people sometimes try to blunt self-awareness to cope with self-discrepancies. From Hull, J.G., & Young, R.D. (1983). Self-Consciousness, self-esteem, and success-failure as determinants of alcohol consumption in male social drinkers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, Copyright © 1983 American Psychological Association. Reprinted by permission of the author.

9 Factors Shaping the Self-Concept Festinger’s (1954) social comparison theory states that we compare ourselves with others in order to assess and/or improve our abilities. A reference group is “a set of people who are used as a gauge in making social comparisons”. –If we want to improve, we choose reference groups of superior quality, but –If we want to bolster self-esteem, we choose inferior groups.

10 Factors Shaping the Self-Concept, continued Generally, our self-perceptions are distorted in a positive direction. Feedback from others is important in balancing our own observations. –Early in life, parents and family members are the primary influences. –As children age, peers become progressively more important. –Later in life, close friends and marriage partners play dominant roles.

11 Factors Shaping the Self-Concept, continued Social context also affect our self-concept. –We may view ourselves more, or less, critically, depending on the situation.

12 Factors Shaping the Self-Concept, continued Cultural values and self-concept –In cultures that value individualism – “putting personal goals ahead of group goals” – identity is defined more in terms of personal attributes. –In cultures that value collectivism – “putting group goals ahead of personal goals” – identity is defined more in terms of the groups one belongs to.

13 Factors Shaping the Self-Concept, continued Individualism vs. collectivism, continued –People raised in individualistic cultures Have an independent view of the self. View themselves as unique, self- contained, and distinct from others. –People raised in collectivist cultures Have an interdependent view of the self. View themselves as more connected to others (see Figure 6.5).

14 Figure 6.5. Independent and interdependent views of the self. (a) Individuals in cultures that support an independent view perceive the self as clearly separated from significant others. (b) Individuals in cultures that support an interdependent view perceive the self as inextricably connected to others. Adapted from Markus, H.R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivations. Psychological Review, 98,

15 Self-Esteem, continued Self-esteem refers “to one’s overall assessment of one’s worth as a person”. It is a global evaluation of many aspects of the self (see Figure 6.6). Self-esteem can be construed two ways: –Trait self-esteem (an enduring sense of confidence in a person). –State self-esteem (dynamic feelings about the self that change with the situation).

16 Figure 6.6. The structure of self-esteem. Self-esteem is a global evaluation that combines assessments of various aspects of one’s self-concept, each of which is built up from many specific behaviors and experiences. (Adapted from Shavelson, Hubner, & Stanton, 1976).

17 Self-Esteem, continued Self-esteem and adjustment –Self-esteem is strongly and consistently connected to happiness. –People with high self-esteem also feel more likeable and attractive, have better relationships, and make better impressions on others.

18 Self-Esteem, continued Self-esteem and adjustment, continued –People with high self-esteem persist longer in the face of failure and cope better with setbacks. –Self-esteem has not been linked to achievement, however.

19 Self-Esteem, continued High self-esteem versus narcissism –Feeling too good about oneself is not desirable. –Narcissism – “the tendency to regard oneself as grandiosely self-important” - is pathological and different from high self- esteem, a healthy trait.

20 Self-Esteem, continued High self-esteem versus narcissism, continued –Narcissistic individuals Are preoccupied with fantasies of success. Believe they deserve special treatment. React aggressively when their view of themselves (ego) is threatened (see Figure 6.9).

21 Figure 6.9. The path from narcissism to aggression. Individuals who score high on narcissism perceive negative evaluations by others to be extremely threatening. This experience of ego threat triggers strong hostile feelings and aggressive behavior toward the evaluator in retaliation for the perceived criticism. Low scorers are less likely to perceive negative evaluations as threatening and, therefore, behave much less aggressively toward evaluators (Adapted from Bushman & Baumeister, 1998).

22 The Development of Self-Esteem Parents play an important role in shaping self- esteem early in life. Two dimensions of parenting are important 1.Parental acceptance. 2.Parental control. Together, these dimensions yield four parenting styles (see Figure 6.11). The authoritative style is associated with the highest self-esteem scores.

23 Figure Baumrind’s four parenting styles. Four parenting styles result from the interactions of parental acceptance and parental control, as theorized by Diana Baumrind. Adapted from Baumrind, D. (1971). Current patterns of parental authority [Monograph]. Developmental Psychology, 4(1, Part 2), American Psychological Association. Adapted by permission of the author.

24 The Development of Self-Esteem, continued Teachers, classmates, and close friends also influence children’s self-esteem. –Children with perceived support from significant others have the highest self- esteem. Children also use reference groups as a basis for self-judgments. –Those who feel competent, relative to others, have the highest self-esteem.

25 Ethnicity, Gender, and Self-Esteem Ethnicity and gender interact in complex ways with regard to self-esteem: –White males have higher self-esteem than do white females, but minority males have lower self-esteem than do minority females. –Overall, males score slightly higher on self- esteem than do females, and white females have lower self-esteem than do minority females. –Individualism is also associated with high self-esteem.

26 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Cognitive processes affect the ability to maintain a view of the self. Two different types of processes are at work: 1.Automatic processing – default mode in which we handle information without much deliberate decision-making (e.g., going through our morning routine). 2.Controlled processing – active thinking required for important decision-making and analysis.

27 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Self-attributions – are “inferences that people draw about the causes of their own behavior”. Three key dimensions of attributions: 1.Whether they are internal or external. – Internal attributions – “ascribe the causes of behavior to personal dispositions, traits, abilities, and feelings”. – External attributions – “ascribe behavior to situational demands”.

28 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Dimensions of attributions, continued 2.Whether they are stable or unstable. – Stable attributions – the cause of behavior is unlikely to change over time. – Unstable attributions – the cause of behavior is variable, or subject to change. –This dimension interacts with the internal-external one and yields four types of attributions about success and failure (see Figure 6.12).

29 Figure Key dimensions in attributional thinking. Weiner’s model assumes that people’s explanations for success and failure emphasize internal versus external causes and stable versus unstable causes. For example, if you attribute an outcome to great effort or to lack of effort, you are citing causes that lie within the person. Since effort can vary over time, the causal factors at work are unstable. Other examples of causal factors that fit into each of the four cells in Weiner’s model are shown in the diagram. From Weiner, B., Frieze, I., Kukla, A., Reed, L. & Rosenbaum, R.M. (1972). Perceiving the causes of success and failure. In E.E. Jones, D.E. Kanuouse, H.H. Kelly, R.E. Nisbett, S. Valins, & B. Weiner (Eds.), Perceiving causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

30 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Dimensions of attributions, continued 3.Whether they are controllable or uncontrollable. – This dimension simply considers whether or not the individual has any control over the behavior.

31 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Explanatory style – refers to the “tendency to use similar causal attributions for a wide variety of events in one’s life”. –People who use an optimistic explanatory style attribute setbacks to external, unstable, and specific factors. –People who use a pessimistic explanatory style attribute setbacks to internal, stable, and global factors (see Figure 6.13).

32 Figure The effects of attributional style on expectations, emotions, and behavior. The pessimistic explanatory style is seen in the top row of boxes. This attributional style, which attributes setbacks to internal, stable and global causes, tends to result in an expectation of lack of control over future events, depressed feelings, and passive behavior. A more adaptive, optimistic attributional style is shown in the bottom row of boxes.

33 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Four motives guide self-understanding. 1.Self-assessment – desire for truthful information about oneself. 2.Self-verification – preference for feedback that matches our self-view. 3.Self-improvement – looking to successful others in order to improve ourselves. 4.Self-enhancement – desire to maintain positive feelings about oneself.

34 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Methods of self-enhancement 1.Downward social comparison – a “defensive tendency to compare oneself with someone whose troubles are more serious than one’s own”. 2.Self-serving bias – “tendency to attribute one’s successes to personal factors and one’s failures to situational factors”.

35 Basic Principles of Self-Perception, continued Methods of self-enhancement, continued 3.Basking in reflected glory – “tendency to enhance one’s image by publicly announcing one’s association with those who are successful”. 4.Self-handicapping – “tendency to sabotage one’s performance to provide an excuse for possible failure”.

36 Self-Regulation, continued Self-regulation is “the process of directing and controlling one’s behavior”. According to the ego depletion model, people have a limited amount of self-control. –For example, if you successfully resist temptation to indulge yourself with sweets today, it is more difficult to do so tomorrow.

37 Self-Regulation, continued Self-efficacy – “one’s belief about one’s ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes” is very important to healthy adjustment. –Fortunately, self-efficacy can be learned and changed. –This is important to adjustment because increasing self-efficacy is beneficial to one’s physical and mental health.

38 Self-Regulation, continued Self-efficacy, continued Self-efficacy can be developed and usually comes from four sources. 1.Mastery experiences – Learning new skills increases self- efficacy. – It is especially important to persist in the face of mistakes or failure.

39 Self-Regulation, continued Sources of self-efficacy, continued 2.Vicarious experiences – watching others to learn a new skill. 3.Persuasion and encouragement 4.Interpretation of emotional arousal – When we try new things, we may become nervous. – It is important to attribute this to normal arousal needed to do well, rather than fear.

40 Self-Regulation, continued Self-defeating behaviors, “seemingly intentional actions that thwart a person’s self- interest”, come in three categories: 1.Deliberate self-destruction. 2.Trade-offs – engaging in short-term, potentially harmful behaviors, in order to pursue healthy long-term goals. 3.Counterproductive strategies – persisting in ineffective strategies to achieve a goal.

41 Self-Presentation, continued A public self is “an image presented to others in social interactions”. Public selves can vary according to the situation, or role, that people are in. Thus, we have multiple public selves. However, adjustment is best when there is considerable overlap, or integration, in the various public selves (see Figure 6.17).

42 Figure Public selves and adjustment. Person 1 has very divergent public selves with relatively little overlap among them. Person 2, whose public selves are more congruent with each other, is likely to be better adjusted than Person 1.

43 Self-Presentation, continued Impression management refers to “usually conscious efforts by people to influence how others think of them”. Impression management strategies include 1.Ingratiation – “behaving in ways to make oneself likable to others”. 2.Self-promotion – accenting your strong points in order to earn respect. 3.Exemplification – “demonstrating exemplary behavior in order to boost your integrity or character”.

44 Self-Presentation, continued Impression management strategies, continued 4.Negative acknowledgment – admitting your flaws. 5.Intimidation – using physical or emotional threats to get what you want from others. 6.Supplication – “acting weak or dependent in order to get favors from others”.

45 Self-Presentation, continued Perspectives on Impression Management –Research on impression management has identified the following patterns of behavior: People try to make positive impressions when interacting with strangers. Shift toward modesty with those who know them well.

46 Self-Presentation, continued Self-monitoring – “the degree to which people attend to and control the impressions they make on others”. –High self-monitors are more concerned about making favorable impressions and are good at interpreting what others see. –Low self-monitors are more likely to express their true feelings or attitudes.

47 Application: Building Self-Esteem, continued Building self-esteem is important because individuals with low self-esteem are –More prone to depression. –More demoralized by failure. –More anxious in relationships.

48 Application: Building Self-Esteem, continued Seven guidelines for building self-esteem: 1.Recognize that you control your self- image. – You can change your self-image to a more positive one. 2.Learn more about yourself. – People with low self-esteem don’t know as much about themselves as do those with high self-esteem.

49 Application: Building Self-Esteem, continued Seven guidelines, continued 3.Don’t let others set your goals. 4.Recognize unrealistic goals. 5.Modify negative self-talk. – Remember to use an optimistic explanatory style when confronting successes and failures. 6.Emphasize your strengths. 7.Approach others with a positive outlook.


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