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The Self, Identity, & Personality Chapter 11. SELF All the Characteristics of the Person Self-concept: everything the person believes to be true about.

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Presentation on theme: "The Self, Identity, & Personality Chapter 11. SELF All the Characteristics of the Person Self-concept: everything the person believes to be true about."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Self, Identity, & Personality Chapter 11

2 SELF All the Characteristics of the Person Self-concept: everything the person believes to be true about him/herself Includes traits, preferences, social roles, values, beliefs, interests, self-categorization Self-understanding develops throughout the lifespan

3 Self-Awareness in Infancy Dot-of-rouge experiment Recognize selves in mirror at months months –Personal pronoun use –Picture recognition –Self-referencing, ownership, self-monitoring

4 Self in Early Childhood Confusion of self, mind, and body Concrete descriptions Physical descriptions Activities – what they do Overestimation of abilities

5 Self – Middle & Late Childhood Shift to internal traits and abilities Social role descriptions Real and ideal selves More realistic about abilities

6 Perspective Taking Opposite of egocentrism – the ability to assume another’s perspective Children who are good at this are popular Development progresses through stages (Selman)

7 Self in Adolescence Abstract-idealistic Self-conscious/ preoccupied Contradictions within self Fluctuating picture across time/situations Possible selves Self-integrations as they get older

8 Self in Adulthood Self-awareness (emotional intelligence) –Accept own good and bad qualities Possible selves become more realistic Life review – evaluation of successes & failures; more likely as you get older

9 Self-Esteem: What is it? Evaluative part of the self-concept –emotional Difference between the real and ideal self –Have you realized your potential? –Do you value the trait, but have little potential? –Ideal self includes the “ought” and the “wish” selves Measure of our sense of meaning in life –This includes purpose –Self-respect (Have you lived up to who you are?)

10 Self-Esteem: What is it? Influenced by the reactions of others –Generalized other, great ubiquitous “they” People are susceptible to flattery It is tougher to accept criticism Basis for conformity

11 Self-Esteem: What is it? Self-serving bias –Overrate ourselves –Blame our failures –Claim our victories –As a rule, only depressed people truly have low self-esteem

12 The Self-Esteem Movement Thank you to Dr. Tracey Zinn, on whose conference presentation this section is based.

13 What’s the problem? “

14 The Self-Esteem Movement Propagated primarily in the educational system Curricula aimed at increasing students’ self-esteem Affects Everyone born after 1970… Focus has been on increasing self-esteem that is not rooted in reality Researchers now suggesting that students need to be able to identify their talents The Psychology of Self-Esteem Branden (1969)

15 What Was Taught “Keep your head up, feel good about yourself” but not “take responsibility for your work”. Forsyth et al (2007) “You can do anything!” No use of the word “failure” Everyone got all As in HS, doing little work Unrealistic expectations of success Students report being bored in class

16 What Resulted

17 What Resulted: Attitudes “Being happy is the most important thing” We should always feel good about ourselves Increase in narcissism (debated) Don’t say “I’m a good soccer player” (Just say “I’m good.”)

18 What Resulted: Attitudes Carol Dweck’s research Effort is considered a sign of stupidity When children are told that they are smart, they choose an easier task. Panic when they are challenged or think they are engaging in “a lot of effort”.

19 Result – Confused Parents Encouraged delicate handling of children Shielded them from negative emotions, criticism Praised kids regardless of what they did Carol Dweck’s research Parents often think that helping their kids build self- esteem is done by shielding them from criticism and praising their talents Protecting kids from hurt, failure, criticism, & disappointment has made them more vulnerabl e

20 What Resulted - Behaviors Thin skinned undergraduates, defensive when they miss questions or are challenged –Generation X Goes to College (Peter Sacks) Students seem to be incapable of handling negative feedback. New hires are asking for raises and promotions almost immediately after being hired. When students with high SE are criticized –Unfriendly, rude, and uncooperative. Entitlement regularly cited as an issue in college.

21 What Failed to Result [High self-esteem] Isn’t associated with improved grades, career achievement, reduced alcohol usage, lower violent behavior, etc. Baumeister and colleagues (2003)

22 Educational Outcomes of the Self- Esteem Movement Susan Jacoby The Age of American Unreason Are our students (people) hostile to knowledge? Self-esteem movement = I’m the smartest kid! “I’m supposed to be happy!”

23 Backlash against Self-Esteem John Hewitt’s The Myth of Self-Esteem: Finding Happiness and Solving Problems in America “Why do you feel good about yourself?” “Because of self-esteem”

24 Backlash against Self-Esteem Generation Me Risk of depression & anxiety higher for young people today “Our growing tendency to put the self first leads to unparalleled freedom, but it also creates an enormous amount of pressure on us to stand alone.”

25 Are Negative Emotions Normal? Against happiness: In praise of melancholy Eric Wilson Loss of sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder Alan Horwitz & James Wakefield The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders Peter Conrad

26 Self-Worth –Meaning –Purpose –Living up to your identity & your destiny

27 Components of Identity Career Political views Religious beliefs Relationships Ethnic identity Personality Body image

28 Erikson Identity vs. Identity Confusion Identity crisis - exploration Identity commitment Problems: –Weak sense of trust –Little autonomy or initiative –Lack of industry

29 Marcia’s Paths to Identity Identity diffusion –No crisis/ commitment Identity foreclosure –Commitment/ no crisis Identity moratorium –Crisis/ no commitment Identity achievement (goal) –Commitment following crisis

30 Erikson –Generativity vs. Stagnation Middle Adulthood Self-absorption Self-indulgence


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