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Development of the Self and Social Cognition. C. H. Cooley (1902) and G. H. Mead (1934) Key Points to the Development of Self –Self-concept is a function.

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Presentation on theme: "Development of the Self and Social Cognition. C. H. Cooley (1902) and G. H. Mead (1934) Key Points to the Development of Self –Self-concept is a function."— Presentation transcript:

1 Development of the Self and Social Cognition

2 C. H. Cooley (1902) and G. H. Mead (1934) Key Points to the Development of Self –Self-concept is a function of social interactions and it undergoes many changes over the course of a life-time. –Newborns initially have no concept of self They must first discover their existence separate from their environment (i.e., objects, people). Once infants make this important distinction between self and non-self, they establish interactive routines with close companions (i.e., develop socially) and learn that their behavior elicits predictable reactions from others. Looking Glass Concept

3 Emerging Self Although theorists and researchers disagree as to the prevalence of the emerging self at birth, most acknowledge that it is present within 2 to 3 months of life. –Margaret Mahler believes that the child makes no distinction from the self and the environment at birth. “The chick in the egg concept” because all needs are being met from its environment, there is no need to differentiate. –Brown (1998) and Meltzoff (1990) believes that the child does have an ability to distinguish the self from the environment. Conclusions are drawn from findings which identify changes in child responses regarding the emergence or anticipation of his on hands approaching mouth and an ability to discriminate her own voice when crying from the voices of other infants. As noted by Piaget, continued experimentation produces an awareness and understanding of their actions and how it influences the environment…Personal agency.

4 Self-Recognition Self-Recognition appears to develop in children around 15 to 17 months in some children, however, more seem to demonstrate self- recognition within 18 to 24 months (Lewis and Brooks- Gunn,1979). Healthy and secure attachments seem to foster self-recognition in infants –Mastery of one’s environment starts first with the self and then expands to significant others, and inevitably the environment. The emergence of self-recognition sets the stage of later social and emotional outcomes such as feelings of embarrassment and pride. Categorical self. –Toddlers awareness of self makes them more sensitive to the unique differences in others and they demonstrate early signs of classifying (i.e., age, sex, ethnicity).

5 Preschoolers Sense of Self Preschoolers generally tend to describe themselves in concrete and physical ways Preschoolers tend not to describe themselves in psychological ways

6 Children’s Theory of Mind and Private Self Theory of mind. The understanding that people are cognitive beings with mental states (beliefs, motives, feelings, and intentions) that are not always accessible to others and that often guide their beliefs. Public self (or me). Those aspects of self that others can see or infer. Private self (or I). Those inner, or subjective aspects of self that are known only to the individual and are not available for public scrutiny.

7 Self-Esteem Development Self-esteem is fostered by secure attachments. A relatively healthy and stable sense of self-esteem is established by age 4 and 5. Unidimensional vs. Multidimensional Self-esteem Susan Harter’s Notion of Self-Perception

8 Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter, 1989) –Scholastic Competence –Athletic Competence –Social Acceptance –Physical Appearance –Behavioral Conduct –Close Friendship (adolescents) –Romantic Appeal (adolescents) –Job Competence (adolescents) –According to Harter, children between 4 and 7 tend to have inflated egos because they tend to rate themselves highly in several domains.

9 Childrens views of self tend to reflect their imagination and desires more than their actual capabilities. However, by age 8 children view of self tend to become more accurate. Children begin to shape more of their understanding of self based on other’s views. Looking glass. Relational self-worth. Feelings of self-esteem within a particular relationship context (e.g., with parents, with male classmates); may differ across relationship contexts.

10 Changes in Self-Esteem Is self-esteem a stable construct over time? According to Erikson, self-esteem is affected when we experience certain changes or crises (biological, social, cognitive). Parenting style and influence affects self-esteem. Peers influence self-esteem. Social comparison/experimentation

11 Development of Achievement Motivation and Academic Self-concept Achievement motivation. A willingness to strive to succeed at challenging tasks and to meet high standards of accomplishment. According Robert White, from infancy onward, human beings are intrinsically motivated to master their environments—to have an effect on or to cope successfully with a world of people and objects. Mastery motivation. –Infants struggle to execute tasks (turn knobs, open cabinets, operate toys)

12 Mastery Motivation Stipek and associates (1992) examined mastery motivation in 1 to 5 year olds by presenting them with a series of tasks and observing expression after succeeding or failing. Joy in Mastery. Display pleasure in mastering a challenge. Do not seek recognition for their success and consequently do not express much regret upon failure. Instead, they transition to new tasks. (0-2 years). Approval Seeking. Begin to anticipate the evaluation of others regarding their performance. They seek recognition for their success and expect disapproval when they fail at tasks. (2-3 years). Use of Standards. Children begin to react more independently to their successes and failures. They develop self standards and are less dependent on others for recognition. Tend to display feelings of pride or shame regarding their competence.

13 Studies have identified correlations in children in high mastery motivation to demonstrate high academic performance. Home Influences--Three important factors: –The quality of the child’s attachment. Children securely attached tend to be better problem-solvers display eagerness to learn and approach tasks and demonstrate their competence. –The character of the home environment. Studies have shown that the quality of the home environment in the 1 st year of life was correlated with later academic performance in school. Supportive environments foster IAO Intrinsic achievement orientation (IAO). A desire to achieve in order to satisfy one’s personal needs for competence or mastery (as opposed to achieving for external incentives such as grades). –The child rearing practices that the parents use. Parents who stress independence training (doing things on their own) and who warmly reinforce self-reliant behavior contribute in positive ways to mastery motivation. Studies supporting Vygotsky’s scaffolding view support the approach of supportive mentoring and independence training in helping children to reach particular goals.

14 Parents can foster motivation by: –Setting high standards and encouraging children to succeed –Praise their success/downplay their failure –Provide children room to make decisions but set parameters Parents can foster poor motivation by: –Uninvolved or offer little guidance with children –Highly controlling –Nag continually about homework –Offer tangible bribes for good grades or harp incessantly about bad grades

15 Peer Group Influences Peer pressure can have both positive and negative effects on mastery motivation in children Peer pressures that interfere with academic achievement may be especially acute for many lower-income African American and Latino students and may help explain the lag in academic achievement with respect to Euro Americans and Asian American students. According to Steinberg (1992), peers among low income African American and Latino ethnic groups tend to discourage academic performance and some high achieving minority students run the risk of being rejected from their peer groups…. Perceived as “acting white.”

16 Group Process –Develop separate theoretical groups –Explore key and critical issues as a function of these groups –Explore theory and research generation Theoretical Camps –Psych Phenomenological –Cognitive Behavioral –Ethological –Social Behavioral –Ecological

17 Questions for Consideration Given your theoretical emphasis, what is the most important factor for considering self development in infants? Why? When does “the self” develop? What are three important conditions necessary for the development of a healthy self? Is the development of “the self” a stable construct? Explain the role of parent-child interaction. What do parents need to know in order to foster healthy self development? I believe that early development of self is critical for setting the tone to identity development during adolescence and even adulthood. Offer feedback that supports or fails to support this position. Can an experience in early infancy significantly disrupt identity development in later childhood? Explain? Where do these camps agree? On what grounds do they differ? What type of methodological procedures could be employed to better conduct research to support your theoretical positions?

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