Flashcards in 5. the self Deck (45):
What is self-concept?
Overall set of beliefs that people have about their personal attributes. It is a type of schema - self-schema.
Mental representation of the self
Multifaceted; we play different roles in life.
What are the 2 functions of self-concept/schema?
Functional -- organisational; make sense of the world
Executive -- guide our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour
Human self-recognition develops at around what age?
18-24 months. As we grow older, this rudimentary sense of self develops into a full-blown self-concept.
How does our self-concept change as we grow up?
As a child, our self concept is more concrete, with references to clear cut physical characteristics. As we mature, we place less emphasis on physical characteristics and more on psychological states (thoughts & feelings) and on how others judge us
How do people’s changes alter your view of the person’s “true self”?
If a friend undergoes physical, cognitive, or lifestyle changes, we still see them as their old self. But if a friend undergoes a moral transformation, we hardly recognise them as the same person. Suggests that morality is central to our self-concept.
What is the independent view of the self? (Western culture)
Defining oneself in terms of one’s own internal thoughts, feelings, and actions
What is the interdependent view of the self? (Asian culture)
Defining oneself in terms of one’s relationships to other people and recognising that one’s behavior is often determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others. Connectedness and interdependence between people are valued
What are the 4 main functions of the self?
3) impression management
What is self-knowledge?
The way we understand who we are and formulate and organize this information
What is self-control?
The way we make plans and execute decisions
What is impression management?
The way we present ourselves to other people and get them to see the way we want to be seen
What is self-esteem?
The way in which we try to maintain positive views of ourselves
What are the 2 disadvantages of introspection?
1) not always pleasant to be thinking about ourselves;
2) reasons for our feelings and behaviour can be hidden from conscious awareness
What do we tend to do when we are in a state of self awareness?
we evaluate and compare our current behaviour to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious where we become objective, judgemental observers of ourselves.
What is one benefit of self-focus?
can keep one out of trouble by reminding us about our sense of right and wrong. self-awareness makes us more aware of our morals and ideals.
Describe the "telling more than we know" phenomenon.
Many of our basic mental processes occur outside of awareness. We are usually aware of the final result of our thought processes but often unaware of the underlying cognitive processing. But we often try to come up with an explanation and convince ourselves that it’s true.
What is reasons-generated attitude change?
Attitude change resulting from thinking about the reasons for your attitudes
Why does reasons-generated attitude change occur?
when people analyze the reasons for their attitudes, they bring to mind the reasons that don’t really reflect how they feel, and they talk themselves into believing that this is how they feel. People tend to focus on the things that are easy to put into words, and ignore feelings that are hard to explain. But it is the hard-to-explain feelings that often matter in the long run.
What does self-perception theory argue?
Argues that when our attitudes and feelings are uncertain/ambiguous, we infer these states by observing our behaviour and the situation in which it occurs. We infer our own feelings and motivations by observing our behavior and explain it to ourselves why we behaved in that way.
What is intrinsic motivation?
The desire to engage in an activity because they enjoy it or find it interesting, not because of external pressures.
What is extrinsic motivation?
The desire to engage in an activity because of external rewards or pressures.
What is the overjustification effect?
Results when people view their behaviour as caused by compelling extrinsic reasons, such as a reward, making them underestimate the extent to which their behavior was caused by intrinsic reasons.
What are the 2 types of reward? Which type of reward is helps to combat undermining of intrinsic interest?
task-contingent reward; performance-contingent reward
Give one benefit and one limitation of performance-contingent reward.
benefit - less likely to decrease interest in the child; may even increase interest, earned reward conveys the positive message that you are good at the task
limitation - Puts pressure on people by making them feel evaluated, which makes it harder for them to do well and lower their intrinsic interest in the activity
How does fixed mindset differ from growth mindset?
fixed mindset - the view that we have a set amount of ability that cannot change.
growth mindset - the belief that our abilities are malleable qualities that we can cultivate and grow through hard work.
What does the Schachter's two-factor theory of emotion propose/argue?
proposes that we infer our emotions by observing our behavior and then explain to ourselves why we are feeling that way.
What are the 2 steps to understanding our emotional states?
1) experience physiological arousal first
2) seek appropriate explanation/label for it using situational cues.
What is the misattribution of arousal?
Making mistaken inferences about what is causing them to feel the way they do/the source of our emotions.
What does social comparison theory propose about the self?
Proposes that people learn about their own abilities and attitudes by comparing themselves to others.
When do people engage in social comparison? (2)
When there is no objective standard to measure themselves against
When people are uncertain about themselves in a particular area
What is upward social comparison? Why do people engage in it?
Compare yourself to people who are better than you so you can dream of getting there someday. So you have a sense of what excellence is.
What is downward social comparison? Why do people engage in it?
Comparing ourselves to people who are worse than we are. Boost our egos or make us feel more optimistic about our abilities
What are the 2 types of downward social comparison?
Compare to another person
Compare to our “past self”
What is social tuning?
The process whereby people adopt another person’s attitudes Can happen even when we meet someone for the first time, if we want to get along with that person. Social tuning can happen unconsciously. (likeable vs unlikeable experimenter)
What does the executive function of the self do?
plan and exert control over our actions.
only species that can engage in long-term planning
Briefly describe the "depletion effect" of self control.
Self-control has shown to be limited.
We have the most willpower to control our actions when we have plenty of energy. Spending the energy on one task limits the amount that can be spend on another task, even if the two tasks are quite different and unrelated
What are 3 ways people can do to control their willpower in any situation?
1) simply believing that willpower is an unlimited resource
2) engage in prayer. This convince people that they had the resources and willpower to keep going, and this very belief can increase people’s willpower.
3) Form specific implementation intentions in advance of a situation that requires self-control. Make specific “if-then” plans that specify how you will avoid the temptation.
What is impression management?
The attempt by people to get others to see them the way they want to be seen. We do this in our everyday lives by trying to put the best spin on our actions and manage the impressions others have of us.
What are 2 types of impression management strategies?
What is ingratiation?
Using flattery to make yourself likeable to another, often a person of higher status. We can ingratiate through compliments, agreeing with another’s ideas, by commiserating and offering sympathy etc.
How does self-handicapping aid in impression management?
People create obstacles and excuses for themselves so that if they do poorly on a task, they can avoid blaming themselves which is damaging to yourself esteem. Helps you deflect the potential negative internal attribution. If you do well on the task, all the better, because you did so under ‘adverse conditions’, which suggests that you are especially bright and talented.
What are the 2 types of self-handicapping?
- behavioral self-handicapping
- reported self-handicapping
Describe behavioral self-handicapping.
People act in ways that reduce the likelihood that they will succeed on a task so that if they fail, they can blame it on obstacles they created rather than their lack of ability. (Eg. drugs, alcohol, reduced effort on task, failure to prepare for important event).
Describe reported self-handicapping.
People devise ready-made excuses in case they fail
People can arm themselves with all kinds of excuses: blame their shyness, test anxiety, bad moods, physical symptoms, and adverse events from their past
Problem is that we may come to believe these excuses and hence exert less effort on the task, causing them to do badly.