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Chapter 3 - The Social Self

by: Rebecca Stewart

Chapter 3 - The Social Self PSYC 2130

Rebecca Stewart

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About this Document

These notes cover chapter 3 material that will be on the first exam.
Intro to Social Psychology
Kathleen Burke
Class Notes
Intro to social psychology, social psychology, Psychology, chapter 3, the social self
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rebecca Stewart on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2130 at University of North Carolina - Charlotte taught by Kathleen Burke in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Intro to Social Psychology in Psychlogy at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.


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Date Created: 02/01/16
1/25/16 - 2/1/16 Social Psychology Class Notes Chapter 3 – The Social Self Objectives 1. What is the self? 5. How does it motivate us? 2. How is it developed? 6. How do we feel about it? 3. Culture and the self 7. How do we control it? 4. How do we know it? 8. How do we present it? 1. What is the self? • There is no consistent definition in the literature o Anything beginning with “self-“ o Inherently subjective o Stable vs. unstable • ABCs o Affective – self-esteem, self-evaluation o Behavioral – self-regulation, self-control o Cognitive- self-concept, self-knowledge, self-presentation • Class activity – Who am I? (I am…) • Self-concept o Summary of cognitive beliefs about oneself o Made up of schemas • Self Concept Clarity o How well we know oneself o How clear all my cognitions are • Working Self- Concept (changing) o One’s currently activated self concept o Changes from situation to situation 2. How is it developed? • Information comes from… o Ourselves o Others § Reflected self-appraisals § Social comparison § Culture o Begins around 18-24 months • Humans are not the only species with a sense of self o Great apes recognize themselves, but only when socialized • Self-awareness – the act of thinking about ourselves o Do all animals have self-awareness? § Researchers put a red spot on ears/brows of great apes § Red dot studies § IVs: 1 1/25/16 - 2/1/16 Social Psychology Class Notes • Socialized or not socialized • Mirror or no mirror? § DV: Number of times animals touched the spot on their ear/brow § Results: • Socialization Is key to self awareness o When we are self-aware, we are more likely to act according to our standards and values o Most of the time, however, people are not self-aware § When made self-aware later on, self discrepancies become apparent • Trick or Treat Study – set out unattended Halloween bowl full of candy. Not on top with instructions “Please take one piece of candy” o IV: Mirror or no mirror next to candy bowl o DV: How much candy the children take o Results: § Mirror: 12 § No Mirror: 34 3. Culture and the self • Where you are raised • Individualist cultures – create independent self-construal • Independent self – separate from social content o Goal: be independent and unique • Collectivist Cultures – create independent self- construal • Interdependent Self – Closely connected to social context o Goal: fit-in and maintain harmony • Interdependent VS. Independent o Interdependent – § If my brother/sister fails, I feel responsible § I avoid an argument even when I disagree with others o Independent – § I enjoy being different from others in many respects § I prefer to be direct when dealing with people I’ve just met • Relational interdependence – focus on close relationships & more common among women • Collective interdependence – focus on group membership & more common among men 2 1/25/16 - 2/1/16 Social Psychology Class Notes 4. How do we know it? • We use knowledge from… o Ourselves o Our emotions o Our behavior o Others • Self-perception Theory o Bem (1972) o When our attitudes/feelings are ambiguous (don’t know what they are), we infer who we are from our behavior § If we don’t know how we feel § We judge whether the behavior reflects how we feel § Only if the behavior was chosen freely • Example: after eating quickly: “I must have been hungry!” o Self-perception of likes and dislikes § Why would I eat Graeter’s if I didn’t like it? § Why would I refuse free seafood if I didn’t hate fish? o Self-perception from behavior § Nodding/shaking of the head § Flexion/extension § Recall from the embodiment lecture • Infer information about the self from our motivations o Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation • What happens if we’re only motivated by rewards? o Can we be motivated too much by external rewards (money or free food), does that limit how motivated we are because we’re interested? • Kids Marker Study o Measured how long kids played with the markers o IV: 3 groups § No rewards (control) § Certificate group – expected reward § Surprise group – didn’t expect reward but got it o DV: how long did the kids play with the markers days after receiving the reward o Results: § Intrinsic motivation decreased only for the certificate group § The group who expected and got the reward § Called the “over justification effect” • Comparing ourselves to others o When? When we are uncertain about how we are doing o To whom? Usually people who are similar to us & comparison target depends on goals • Social Comparison o Upward comparison – § Comparing with better people § Gives information about improvement 3 1/25/16 - 2/1/16 Social Psychology Class Notes § May make us work harder… not always o Downward Comparison § Comparing with worse people § Makes us feel better about ourselves § Good for self-enhancement 5. How does it motivate us? • Self-verification o Want feedback what validates self-views o Want to know that how we view the world is accurate • Self- enhancement o Want positive feedback o Want to “know” that we are good/doing well o Implicit egotism – Unconscious from of self-enhancement § Examples: • People rate letters I their name more favorable than those not found in their name • Peoples preference for numbers in their birthday can affect where they live • Self-assessment o Want accurate feedback about the self o Want to know “how we really are” o • Self-improvement o The desire to make oneself better • Basking in Reflected Glory (BIRGing) o Aligning yourself with successful others. Drawing self-esteem from group membership o Examples: sports game pride 6. How do we feel about it? • What is self-esteem? o The affective component of the self o Whether you evaluate yourself positively or negatively whether you like or dislike yourself o Is having a high self-esteem good or bad? § Video § Self esteem movement – teach self-esteem = successful people § Failed, doesn’t help being successful • Angry and aggressive § People who are more conceited are more aggressive • Sociometer theory o People have a fundamental need to belong o Self-esteem is an indicator of how well we are doing socially § Low self-esteem = not meeting the need to belong 4 1/25/16 - 2/1/16 Social Psychology Class Notes § High self-esteem = everything is OK o Saber tooth tiger • Rosenberg Self-esteem scale o Commonly used • Maintaining self-esteem o People high in self-esteem tend to be successful o Correlation doesn’t equal causation o People who succeed may have higher self-esteem as a result of their success • Benefits of self esteem o Happiness o Increased initiative • Disadvantages of high self esteem o Doesn’t improve task performance o Doesn’t make you ore likeable, attractive, or have better relationships § Narcissists are less likeable o Doesn’t prevent crime or bullying § Criminals and bullies have high self-esteem o Doesn’t prevent delinquency § May even be more willing to experiment with sex and/or drugs • How do we maintain self-esteem? o Downward social comparisons o Reduce self-discrepancies o Reduce self-awareness o Self-handicapping • Self-discrepancy – mismatch between how you see yourself and how you want to be o Self- discrepancy theory § Actual self • The person you believe you are now § Ought self • The person you feel you should be • Duties, obligations § Ideal self • The person you aspire to be • Hopes, wishes § Actual-ought discrepancies • Fear, worry, anxiety § Actual-ideal discrepancies • Sadness, dejection, depression § What to do? How to reduce discrepancies? • Revise to a more realistic ideal/ought self • Change behavior to achieve the desired self • Completely change the ideal/ought self • Self-handicapping – engaging in self-defeating behavior in order to have a ready excuse of failure 5 1/25/16 - 2/1/16 Social Psychology Class Notes o Care about what other people think o Failure – easy excuse o Success – even more impressive o Protects self-esteem – but at a cost o Study of Berglas & Jones, 1978 § Participants take an extremely difficult test • IV: positive or negative feedback § Told they’ll be taking another test • DV: choice of two pills • One supposed to improve performance • One supposed to hurt performance § Participant who were told they did well tend to choose the performance-hurting drug • Afraid they won’t be able to repeat the success • Self-esteem theories o Contingences of Self Worth – self esteem can be based on different factors § Domains in which people can derive self-worth: • Support of family • Academic competence • Physical attractiveness • Religious beliefs • Others’ approval • Outperforming others § If self-worth is based on totally one domain, its vulnerable to threat § Multiple contingences protect self esteem • Self-affirmation o When feeling threatened, affirm your self-worth on a separate domain o Change focus to an unrelated topic o Example: “I might have failed the test but im still popular” 7. How do we control it? • Self-control - choosing to act in accordance with a goal rather than a temptation o Often, the temptation is thought to be in the present whereas the goal is thought to be in the future o Dr. Kentaro Fujita does a ton of self-control research here at OSU • Research on self control uses: o Hand grip task o Stroop task o Dieting choices o Skin cancer and tanning • Ego-depletion o Covered in your book o Self-control is like a muscle that relies on glucose (sugar) 6 1/25/16 - 2/1/16 Social Psychology Class Notes o Once we use all of our energy on the first act of self-control, we wont be able to on a second-self control task • Construal Level Theory (CLT) Approach o Thinking abstract (thinking about why to do something) generally -> self control success o Thinking concretely (thinking about how to do something) generally -> self- control failure • The Marshmallow Study o Mischel, Shoda, and Peaske (1988;1990) o Delay of gratification – missing out on smaller, present reward for greater, future rewards o Give young children(4-5 years old) a marshmellow o Tell them they will get two marshmallows in five minutes, if they don’t eat the first one o o Results: § The kids who were able to resist eating the marshmallow were better in school, more socially competent, and had higher SAT scores in college, and were less likely to be in prison • Changeability: recent moderator o Our belief on ability (Dweck and Gran, 2008) o Entity theory – fixed mindset = you have a certain amount of ability and no matter how hard you work, that wont change § If you failed… I don’t have the ability, no matter what I do, its never going to matter o Incremental theory – growth mindset = ability isn’t constant and if you work you can change it § If you failed… I didn’t work hard enough. If I work harder, I can do better o Can believe that some abilities are constant and others can grow § Interesting effects on self-control 8. How do we present it? o Self handicapping o Self- monitoring – the extent to which people notice and care about what others think about themselves o High self-monitors § Sensitive to social norms and social situation § Behave differently in different situations § Concerned with what other think about them o Low Self-Monitors § Insensitive to social context § Behave consistently across situations § Don’t care about what other think about them o On-record vs. off record communications 7


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