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Chapter 2 Notes

by: Danielle Jones

Chapter 2 Notes PY 372

Danielle Jones
GPA 4.0

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This week's lecture covered chapter 2: the self. We focused especially on self-esteem, self-esteem thriving, and maintaining self-esteem. If you have any questions or feedback, you can always email...
Social Psychology
William Peter Hart
Class Notes
Self-Esteem, self-concept
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Jones on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PY 372 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by William Peter Hart in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 58 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.

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Date Created: 09/05/16
Chapter 2  The Self  Development of the Self  The self develops at age 2  Before age 2, children aren’t aware they exist independently from others  People also don’t have any memories before age 2 (called infantile amnesia), demonstrating that infants aren’t even creating autobiographical memories before then  The rouge test is done to determine if an infant has developed a sense of self yet by placing a red mark on their forehead seeing if they can realize that the mark on the reflection in a mirror his or her own ˗ A child younger than 18 months won’t be able to recognize that the reflection in the mirror is their own and not another child ˗\  Once the self is develop, a child then starts to develop a self-concept and self- esteem  The Self-Concept  Set of attributes that defines your perception of yourself (beliefs about yourself) ˗ Basically, your beliefs about who you are  The way you complete “I am” statements (pg. 31) make up an important part of your self-concept ˗ Particularly the first few answers because they make up your spontaneous self-concept: your core or central self-beliefs  Self-concepts filter your perception of reality ˗ Organize and guide how we think about and respond to other people, things, and events ˗ They influence the way we understand and react to various events ˗ Imagine someone’s self-concept contains the belief “I am an unlikeable person” ˗ How might this person interpret others’ actions toward him or her ˗ If they wave to a friend and the friend doesn’t wave back, would they be more likely to think that that friend didn’t respond because they just didn’t see them or because that friend actually doesn’t like them ˗ Self-reference effect: phenomenon in which information is better recalled when it related to the self  Self-Esteem  The global and overall evaluation that one has oneself (positive or negative)  Self-esteem is generally associate with positive outcomes ˗ The higher your self-esteem the less likely you are to get sick or develop mental illnesses (like anxiety and depression)  There are games available, designed to improve self-esteem ˗ (a student played “EyeSpy: The Matrix” in class)  Your self-esteem is contingent on what how much we think other people like us  People must be careful to ensure their high self-esteem doesn’t turn into narcissism  Self-Knowledge  Sometimes people can be out of touch with the skills they possess  Sources of self-knowledge ˗ Reflected Appraisals: our perception of how others perceive and evaluate us based on their behavior towards us ˗ People gauge their perception (about who they are) based on how people react to them, not necessarily by what others say ˗ Ex: a person may assume that they are funny because other people laugh when they something/tell a joke ˗ Direct Feedback: verbal information received from others about our traits and abilities ˗ Social Comparisons: the act of comparing our traits and abilities with the traits and abilities of others ˗ A good performance vs a bad performance is often socially determined ˗ Ex: you made an 85 on a test and the rest of the class made a 95 or better, compared to rest of the class your performance is worse or you made an 85 on a test and the rest of the class made a 75 or worse, compared to rest of the class your performance is the best ˗ There are 2 types of social comparisons ˗ Upward: comparisons with others who are better ˗ Upward social comparison can be motivating if a goal is obtainable, but depressing if it isn’t ˗ Downward: comparison with someone worse ˗ Can lead to a positive mood, but also complacency ˗ Our own behavior: making guesses about our personality, views, and beliefs by observing our own behavior and the circumstances under which it occurs: self-perception ˗ Asking “what do my actions say about me?”  Self-Motivations  What is the self motivated to do  Partly, to like itself and to protect self-esteem  Ways the self attempts to maintain self-esteem ˗ Self-serving bias: tendency to attribute success to internal factors (skills) while attributing failure to external factors (bad luck) ˗ Ex: You do really well on an exam because you’re just naturally smart or you studied really well but if failed it’s because the exam was extremely hard or the professor didn’t give you good notes ˗ Self-centered Bias: tendency to take more than one’s share of responsibility for a jointly produced outcome ˗ Ex: A person in a group project may take more credit for a project than they actually did ˗ Comparative Optimism: tendency to believe that we are less likely than others to experience negative events and more likely than others to experience positive events ˗ Major exception to optimistic tendency: ˗ Bracing for the worst: tendency to get pessimistic right before learning about the outcome of an event ˗ Ex: You believed you did really well at an interview, but right before you learn if you got the job or not, you might say “I didn’t really want the job anyway” to protect yourself from the possibility of a negative outcome ˗ Better than average Effect: the tendency to perceive ourselves as better than the average person ˗ People will strategically define traits to put themselves at the top ˗ False-consensus effect: tendency to overestimate the commonality of one’s undesirable traits or unsuccessful behaviors ˗ Usually done in order to justify those traits/behaviors ˗ Ex: “everyone gets a little out of control sometimes” ˗ False-uniqueness effect: tendency to underestimate the commonality of one’s desirable traits of successful behaviors ˗ Ex: “nobody can do this job as well as I can”  Self-Esteem Striving: The Dark Side  Is there a dark side to striving for self-esteem  In a study by Tesser and Cornell (1991), pairs of friends were brought in and told to complete a test rd ˗ After completing the test, each participant was told that they finished 3 and their friend and one stranger finished above them ˗ The participant was then told that their friend and the stranger would compete (through some kind of test) to see who would number 1 ˗ The participant was then given the ability to give clues to help answer the questions to either the friend or the stranger ˗ some clues would be more helpful than others ˗ Question was: would participants give more helpful clues to their friend or the stranger ˗ Most people actually helped out the stranger more than their friend  Sometimes self-esteem striving can cause us to put or friends down because they represent standards of comparisons  Why do we need self-esteem  Terror management theory: people don‘t really strive for self-esteem, but humans know they’re going to die and ˗ They strive for self-esteem to leave a legacy ˗ Self-esteem striving is just a by-product of desire to feel impermanent ˗ Culture isn’t going anywhere, but you can contribute to it and achieve “symbolic immortality” ˗ Reduces fear of death  Self-esteem is an inherent human goal ˗ To gain social acceptance and avoid rejection ˗ Life is easier when we’re part of a group  Sociometer Theory: people are really just striving to show their value and prevent others form rejecting/kicking them out of the group ˗ People don’t actually strive for self-esteem, it’s a measure of how well we’re fitting in ˗ Self-esteem also serves an evolutionary purpose, it protects people from isolation and strengthens survival  Self-Affirmation Theory: self-esteem is a buffer against stress (e.g. negative feedback) and keeps us progressing towards goals ˗ People do thrive for self-esteem ˗ Self-esteem is a resource that allows us to progress


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