Chapter 1: The Self - notes and book flashcards
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Is the true self scientific?
Are the true self and self awareness the same?
True self is often different from self awareness
What do scientists believe about our perceptions?
That we are trapped inside of them
Which type of awareness is this: what you are aware of about your self?
Private self awareness
What type of awareness is this: awareness that others are aware of things you know about yourself
Public self awareness
What is this: if someone knows what we are thinking of, then we are being evaluated and this causes fear and we manage how we look through public self awareness
Where are we always locked?
- In our minds
- In our individual perceptions
Information you store in your head about a concept?
What do schemas involve?
- Information stored in your head
What is the self-concept equal to?
How much you value yourself
What is the evaluation of the self-concept?
What drives our behaviors?
Our concept of our self
What drives behavior pertaining to the self?
Seeking out info to see ourselves in a positive light
What allows us to think about who we are and how we are perceived by others?
What two variables does our level of self awareness depend on?
The realization of oneself as an individual entity
At what age did babies recognize themselves in the mirror in Lewis and Brooks (1978) study?
around 18 months
What cells grow rapidly around 18 months of age?
What are spindle cells?
Specialized neurones in the anterior cingulate
What part of brain is thought to be responsible for monitoring and controlling intentional behavior?
Anterior cingulate in the cerebral cortex in the frontal lobe
What area of the brain is activated when adults are self aware?
The prefrontal cortex is thought to do what?
Make inferences about what other people are thinking and process information about the self
How can we infer what other people are thinking while processing information about ourselves?
We might make inferences about the thoughts and feelings of others by imagining what our own thoughts and feelings would be if we were in the same situation
Who are the researchers involved in studies on the prefrontal cortex?
Mitchell, Banaji, and Macrae (2005)
What methods were used in Mitchell, Banaji, and Macrae's (2005) study?
- Participants went under an fMRI scan to show activity in different areas of the brain while making judgements about photographs of a series of faces
- Participants either made judgements about the mental state of the person or a nonmental state task
- After the fMRI, participants were shown each photograph again and reported how similar they perceived themselves to be to the person in the photo
What were the results of Mitchell, Banaji, and Macrae's study on the prefrontal cortex?
- Participants showed mental activity in the prefrontal cortex when they were making inferences about mental states but not when they were making a judgement on the physical appearance of the person
- There was also a correlation between the amount of activity in the cortex and perceived similarity of the participant to the individual when making judgements on mental state
What can be interpreted from Mitchell, Banaji, and Macrae's study?
- The prefrontal cortex is specifically used when trying to understand the attributes that other people possess, but not for making more general judgements about others
- When the participants believed they were more similar to the person in the photograph, they believed they were better able to predict the behavior of that individual on the basis of how they themselves would feel in the same situation
- The prefrontal cortex showed greater activation during these times
When do people become privately self aware?
- When they see their face in a mirror
- When they experience physiological arousal which may lead them to reflect on their emotional state
If an individual already feels positive, what will reflection on those feelings lead to?
Feeling even happier
What did Scheier and Carver (1977) test?
Private self awareness in emotional response
What methods did Scheier and Carver use to test private self awareness, and what were the results?
- Had participants read aloud a series of positive statements or a period of negative statements
- They found that participants who looked at themselves in a mirror became more extreme in their emotional responses than participants who had not been looking in a mirror
What consequences does private self awareness have?
- Intensified emotional responses
- Clarification of knowledge about self
- Adherence to personal standards of behavior
How do privately self aware individuals experience clarification of knowledge?
By focusing on internal events they able to report them with greater accuracy
Gibbons, Carver, Scheier, and Hormuth (1979) tested what?
Private self awareness in clarification of knowledge
Gibbons et al. (1979) used what methods for testing private self awareness, and what were the results?
- Gave participants a placebo which they were told was a drug that would induce arousal and a number of other side effects
- Participants with mirror-induced self awareness reported less arousal and fewer side effects than participants in a control condition who could not see themselves
- Self aware individuals ignored the placebo and focused on how they were really feeling resulting in more accurate self perceptions
How does more awareness of true beliefs influence behavior?
Individuals who are more aware of their true beliefs will act in line with those beliefs rather than being influenced by normative pressures
Scheier and Carver (1980) performed what study?
Private self awareness and adherence to beliefs
In Scheier and Carver's 1980 study on individual's adherence to beliefs, what methodology was used and what were the results?
- Had participants write a counter-attitudinal essay using the theory of cognitive dissonance
- Participants who wrote the essay in front of a mirror showed less attitude change than participants who wrote the essay without the mirror
What is the theory of cognitive dissonance?
People feel negative arousal if their attitudes and behavior are inconsistent and often deal with this by changing their attitudes in line with their behavior
When are people publicly self aware?
When they are being watched by others
What can the fear of a negative evaluation lead to?
- Loss of self esteem
What can public self awareness lead to that is opposite of private self awareness?
Adherence to social standards of behavior instead of to personal beliefs
People high in private self consciousness experience what?
- Chronically heightened private self awareness
- More intense emotions
- More likely to remain true to their personal beliefs
- Have more accurate self perceptions
What are the pros and cons of being chronically privately self aware?
- Less likely to experience ill health as a result of stress because they pay more attention to their physiological state
- Greater tendency to suffer from depression and neuroticism
- More likely to pay attention to and ruminate about any feelings of unhappiness or discomfort
What are individuals high in public self consciousness concerned with?
How they are perceived by those around them
What behaviors are publicly self conscious individuals going to portray?
- More likely to adhere to group norms
- More likely to avoid embarrassing situations
- More concerned with their own physical appearance
- More likely to judge others based on their physical appearance
How is the knowledge we have about the world stored?
What are schemas?
Cognitive structures that represent the knowledge we have about a particular concept or type of stimulus
How are schemas developed?
Through our experiences with a stimulus
What does each self-schema consist of?
Our perception of our self, and our experience on that dimension of our self
Who argued that if an aspect of the self is perceived as particularly important, the individual can be described as self-schematic on that dimension?
If the person thinks they are extreme on that dimension, and if they are certain that the opposite is not true for them, then the individual can be described as what on that dimension?
If a particular dimension is not important to you and does not reflect who you are, what would it be?
Why are self schemas more likely to be more complex and varied than other schemas in memory?
We acquire more information about the self than about anything else
Markus and Sentis (1982) proposed what?
As well as current self schema, we also hold possible future self schema
Why would having complex and varied self schemas be beneficial for us?
- Buffer us from negative events or failures in our lives
- If we have one self schema producing a negative effect, we derive satisfaction from other self schemas to show ourselves in a positive light
Dimensions on which we are self schematic are particularly likely to be activated in relevant domains. Who conducted a study on this?
What methods were used, and what were the results in Markus' 1977 study?
- Participants who had either previously rated themselves as self-schematic on the trait of dependence or independence (or aschematic on both) completed a reaction-time task
- They were presented with words on a screen associated with independence and dependence and were asked to press a "me" button if this described them or a "not me" button if it didn't
- Participants who were self schematic on independence or dependence were much faster at identifying whether a word characterized them than participants who were aschematic on either of the characteristics
- Self schematic participants also had better memory for incidents from the past which demonstrated their dependence or independence
What are the six theories that explain how our self concept is managed and maintained?
- 1. Control theory of self regulation
- 2. Self discrepancy theory
- 3. Social comparison theory
- 4. Self evaluation maintenance model
- 5. Social identity theory
- 6. Self categorization theory
What can the self be compared to?
- Perceptions of how the self should be
- Perceptions of the self to other individuals
- Perceptions of the self to other groups
What do the control theory of self regulation and the self discrepancy theory have in common?
They both argue that when people are self aware, they can think about whether they are the sort of person they want to be or whether there are ways in which they would like to change
What did Carver and Scheier (1981, 1998) propose in relation to self awareness and goals?
Through self awareness, we are able to assess whether or not we are meeting our goals
What is the central element of the control theory of self regulation?
The cognitive feedback loop which illustrates four steps involved in self regulation
What are the four steps in self regulation according to the control theory of self regulation?
- 1. Test
- 2. Operate
- 3. Test
- 4. Exit
What occurs in the first test phase of the control theory of regulation?
People compare the self against one of two standards - privately self aware people compare themselves again a private standard and publicly self aware people compare themselves against a public standard
What is an example of a private standard a privately self aware individual would compare herself to?
Values she believes to be important
What is an example of a public standard a publicly self aware individual would compare himself to?
Values held by his friends and family
If an individual believes they have failed meet the relevant standard in the control theory of self regulation, what happens?
They put into operation a change in behavior in order to meet the standard
After the operation phase in the control theory of self regulation, what does the individual do next time they reflect on the issue?
They retest themselves, comparing their self to their values/values of others for the second time
If the self still falls short of the standard after the operation phase of the feedback loop, what happens?
The feedback loop repeats itself
If the self and standard are in line with another on the feedback loop, what occurs?
The individual exits the feedback loop for that standard
Who performed a study on the control theory of self regulation?
Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven, and Tice in 1998
What methods did Baumeister et al. (1998) use for their study, and what were their results?
- Participants were led to believe the study was about taste perception and were instructed to make sure they had not eaten for at least 3 hours
- They entered a room with an oven in it with the aroma of chocolate and baking
- They were seated at a table with chocolate cookies on one side and a bowl of radishes on the other
- Radishes condition:
- Participants were asked to eat at least 2 or 3 radishes
- Only eat the food assigned
- Chocolate condition:
- Participants were asked to eat at least 2 or 3 cookies
- Only eat the food assigned
- Both conditions:
- They were left alone for five minutes and observed
- After completing the task, participants were asked if they minded helping out the experimenter by taking part in an unrelated experiment on problem solving
- They were instructed to complete a problem solving task, taking as much time as they wanted and were told that they would not be judged on how long they took
- The task had been prepared so it was impossible to solve
- Participants in the radishes condition gave up more quickly than those in the chocolate condition
- Participants who previously had to exert self control by only eating the radishes, were less able to persist on the difficult and frustrating puzzle task
- Baumeister et al. argued that we have limited cognitive resources at our disposal to self regulate and when we self regulate in one domain, the resources we have left to self regulate in another domain are temporarily depleted
Who argued that people possess three types of self schema?
What are the three types of self schema
- Actual self
- Ideal self
- Ought self
According to the self discrepancy theory, people are motivated to ensure what?
That their actual self matches their ideal self and ought self
What is an actual-ideal discrepancy?
Associated with the absence of positive outcomes, which result in dejection-related emotions like disappointment and sadness
What is an actual-ought discrepancy?
Associated with the presence of negative outcomes, which results in agitation-related emotions like anger, fear and nervousness
What did Higgins, Bond, Klein and Strauman do in their study in 1986?
- Identified participants who had previously reported either a low or a high discrepancy between their ideal and their actual and ought selves
- Several weeks later, participants completed a task in which they either had to focus on and describe the difference between their ideal or ought self and their actual self
What were the results of Higgins et al. study on the self discrepancy theory?
- Participants with a high level of discrepancy showed an increase in dejection related emotions after thinking about their actual-ideal discrepancies, and an increase in agitation related emotions after thinking about their actual-ought discrepancies
- Participants with low or no discrepancies showed no significant changes in their emotions
What does self discrepancy theory imply about generating negative arousal?
By generating negative arousal, discrepancies will motivate people to reduce the discomfort they are experiencing by making changes that reduce discrepancies
What do social comparison theory and self evaluation maintenance theory argue?
We learn about the self by comparing ourselves with other individuals
What does social comparison theory argue?
- That beliefs, feelings, and behaviors are subjective
- There is no objective benchmark against which we can compare them
- By comparing the self with others, we are given an objective benchmark to make comparisons to, providing us with a sense of validation for the way we are
What is an upward comparison?
Comparing the self to someone you believe to be better than you
What is a downward comparison?
Comparing the self to someone who you believe to be worse than you
People motivated by a desire for an accurate self evaluation make what types of comparisons?
Both upward and downward
Who developed the self evaluation maintenance model?
Tesser in 1988
How do people respond to the success of someone else?
- Social reflection
- Upward social comparison
When are we likely to engage in social reflection?
- Domain in which the individual is successful must be irrelevant to us and doesn’t threaten our self concept
- We must be certain about our abilities in that particular domain
When are we likely to engage in upward social comparisons?
- When the domain on which the other person is successful is relevant
- Uncertainty about our own abilities
What are the four strategies we can use to maintain a positive self concept according to the self evaluation maintenance model?
- 1. Exaggerate the ability of successful target
- 2. Change the target of comparison
- 3. Distance the self from successful target
- 4. Devalue the dimension of comparison
True or false: The self concept is thought to be made up of one self schema
False; made up of many self schemas
What are the types of self proposed by Brewer and Gardner in 1996?
- Individual self
- Relational self
- Collective self
Who are the four researchers contributing to the social identity theory?
Hogg and Abrams 1988 and Tafjel and Turner 1979
What are personal identities?
Those that reflect idiosyncratic aspects of the self (personality traits)
What are social identities?
Broader social groups to which we belong
What does our sense of self at any given time depend upon?
Which of our many personal or social identities is psychologically salient
Who developed the self categorization theory?
Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, and Wetherell, 1987
What does the self categorization theory say about an individual’s social identity?
When it becomes salient, their perceptions of themselves and others become depersonalized and they see themselves more in terms of the shared features that define group membership
What principle do group members, under the self categorization theory, obey?
What researchers studied the effect of social identity on adherence to group norms?
Jetten, Spears and Manstead in 1996
What were Jetten et al. methods of research?
- Participants social identity was made salient by being told they were being assigned to one of two groups, based on the technique they had used during an initial task
- To increase identification, they then took part in what they believed was a group task (which actually had no other members)
- They estimated the number of black squares appearing on a screen and were given false feedback about the estimates of three other group members
- They were then asked to distribute money between members of their own group and members of another group.
What were the results of the Jetten et al. study on group norms?
Participants were strongly influenced by the norms of their own group, giving a greater proportion of money to members of their own group when their was a norm of discrimination but distributing money more equally between the two groups when there was a group norm of fairness but only when the norm of the other group was also fairness
What happens to our level of self esteem over time?
It varies depending on the context we find ourselves in
What study did Robins and colleagues conduct in 2002?
- A meta-analysis of 50 self esteem studies showing that over the course of people's lifespan general tendencies to have either high or low self esteem can vary
- They found that self esteem among children aged between 6 and 11 was relatively unstable
- Self esteem was most stable among people in their 20s and remained relatively stable until mid adulthood
- By age 60, self esteem stability declines
What did Joanne Wood and her colleagues discover?
People with lower self esteem are less likely to make the effort to feel good than people with higher self esteem
What did Wood, Heimpel, and Michela (2003) discover about self esteem?
They recorded participants' memories of positive events and found that people with lower self esteem were more likely to dampen the good feelings they experienced by distracting themselves trying to make themselves feel less good and trying to calm themselves, than were people with higher self esteem
In another study on self esteem, Wood, Heimpel, Michela and Brown (2002) discovered what?
- Had participants who had reported a failure in their everyday life to list their immediate plans and reasons for those plans
- Participants with lower self esteem were less likely to express goals to improve their mood
- They found that having a goal to improve one's mood was associated with a greater improvement in mood the following day
What do the findings from Wood et al. and Heimpel et al. studies indicate?
- That people with lower self esteem make less effort to regulate their mood
- They do not try to maintain a good mood after a positive life event
- They are not motivated to elevate their mood after a negative life event
Who argued that higher self esteem is associated with higher levels of aggression and violence under certain circumstances?
Baumeister, Smart and Boden, 1996
What type of self esteem do individuals have if they respond with aggression to an ego threat?
How is narcissistic self esteem laid out?
Individuals have extremely high self esteem, believing they are special and superior to others, but their self esteem is very unstable
What study did Bushman and Baumeister do in 1998?
A study on the relationship between narcissism and the tendency to be aggressive
What methods did Bushman and Baumeister use in their study and what were the results?
- Told participants they were taking part in a study on how people respond to feedback from others and that they would be working with another participant
- They wrote a one paragraph essay and it was taken away to the other (nonexistent) participant
- Participants marked and gave feedback on the essay of the 'other participant' and were given feedback on their own essay
- Praise condition:
- Participants were given positive ratings and comments
- Negative condition:
- Participants were given negative ratings and comments
- The participants were then told they would be in a competitive reaction time task and whoever failed the trial received a blast of noise
- There was a positive relationship between narcissism and aggression but this relationship was particularly strong when there was an ego threat
Why are we motivated to have an accurate self perception?
To reduce uncertainty about our abilities or personal characteristics
What are diagnostic tests, in relation to self motives?
Tests which evaluate the performance of an individual and distinguish their performance from the performance of others, when evaluating the self
What are the three self motives?
- Self assessment
- Self verification
- Self enhancement
Who performed a study to demonstrate the self verification motivation?
Swann, Stein-Seroussi and Giesler, 1992
What did Swann et al. find out in 1992?
- They asked people who had either a positive or negative self concept whether they would prefer to interact with evaluators who had a favorable impression of them or unfavorable
- They found that people with positive self concept were more likely to choose the evaluator who had a favorable impression, but it was the opposite for those with negative self concepts
Morling and Epstein, 1997, found out what about people with lower self esteem and self motives?
They seek a compromise between self enhancement and self verification by seeking out individuals who make them feel better about themselves without completely disconfirming their existing negative self concept
How did Sedikides (1993) study self motives, and what were the results?
- He pitted the three self motives against each other
- Participants completed a self reflection task
- Participants' strongest tendency was to ask themselves questions that focused on positive rather than negative aspects of self
- Self enhancement appears to be the most powerful self motive
How did Steele, 1975, demonstrate the self affirmation theory?
- Study conducted among Mormon women
- Self concept threat condition:
- The researcher questioning the women commented that Mormons were typically uncooperative with community projects
- Self concept irrelevant threat condition:
- Researcher commented that Mormons were typically unconcerned with driver safety and care
- Self concept affirmation condition:
- Researcher commented that Mormons were typically cooperative with community projects
- Two days later, the women received an "unrelated" phone call from a person in the community asking for help
- 65% agreed in the self concept affirmation condition
- 95% agreed in both threat conditions
- Participants who felt threatened wanted to reaffirm a positive aspect of their self concept and did so by publicly demonstrating their community spirit
In regards to the self-serving attribution bias, what researchers were involved in a study?
Mischel, Ebbesen and Zeiss, 1976
What were Mischel, Ebbesen and Zeiss' methods and results in their study?
- Exposed participants to an equal amount of positive and negative information about their personality and then tested their memory of that information
- Participants had a better memory for the positive information than for the negative information
What research study suggests that people are more critical of information that criticizes them than information that praises them?
Wyer and Frey, 1983
What did Wyer and Frey discover about the self serving attribution bias?
- They gave participants an intelligence test and then gave either positive or negative feedback
- Participants then had the opportunity to read a report on the validity of intelligence tests which contained a mix of supportive and critical info
- Participants who had been told they had performed poorly subsequently judged intelligence tests to be less valid than did participants who had received positive feedback
What do Aron and colleagues name the research that shows that our self concept cognitively overlaps with the self concept of close friends and romantic partners?
Including other in the self
What are the benefits of including other in the self?
The positive feelings and treatment we usually reserve for the self can then be extended to others
What did Agnew et al. study in 1998?
They found that greater inclusion of other in the self among dating couples was associated with greater satisfaction, commitment and investment in the relationship
What did Wright, Aron, McLaughlin-Volpe and Ropp, 1997, find out about including the other in the self?
They studied the extended contact effect and found that just knowing members of the ingroup who have friends in an outgroup reduces prejudice
What methods and results were found in Wright and colleagues 1997 study?
- They led participants to believe they had been assigned to one of two groups based on their performance on an initial task
- Participants then observed an ingroup and an outgroup member interact on a problem solving task
- The relationship between the individuals was either close, strangers of disliked acquaintances
- The outgroup was evaluated more positively when the observed interaction was friendly than when it was neutral or hostile
Who illustrated the dis-identification strategy in 1976?
Robert Cialdini and colleagues
What methods did Cialdini and colleagues use, and what were the results?
- Investigated the behavior of fans of college American football teams
- Students at seven universities were monitored during an intro psych class
- The proportion of students in class wearing university apparel was recorded
- The researchers considered whether the apparel differed depending on if their team had won
- Students wore more apparel when their team had won that weekend
What did Cialdini et al, call the phenomenon of wearing apparel after a winning weekend?
Basking in reflected glory
Snyder, Lassegard and Ford, 1986, discovered what about social strategies?
- Compared to groups of college students who performed adequately on a group task, groups who failed on the task were more likely to distance themselves from other members of their group
- They reported a desire to avoid the group
What is the desire to avoid a group that failed?
Cutting off reflected failure
Who performed a study on the differences between individualist and collectivist cultures?
Trafimow, Triandis and Goto, 1991
How did Trafimow et al. study culture?
- Had North American and Chinese participants write down 20 self descriptions
- North American students wrote down a significantly greater proportion of individual self descriptions than Chinese students
What other researchers studied culture in self and identity?
Gardner, Gabriel and Lee, 1999
What methods did Gardner et al. employ to study the relationship between self-construct and values?
- Primed American students to temporaily have either a more individualist or more collectivist self concept by having them read a story
- One story used independent pronouns and the other used interdependent pronouns
- Participants then wrote down 20 self descriptions and completed a questionnaire about values that were important to them
- Participants primed to hold a personal self concept wrote more individual self descriptions and more strongly endorsed individualist values than the students primed for collectivist self concepts
People who are adept at dealing with both cultures are?
Hong, Morris, Chiu and Benet-Martinez (2000) studied what?
- Biculturalism in Chinese Americans
- Found that Chinese American bicultural individuals primed with Western or East Asian cues changed their behavior in line with the cued culture
Buriel and colleagues (1998) found out what about holding two identities simultaneously?
Bicultural individuals felt more at ease interacting with individuals from outside their ethnic minority, and had better problem solving strategies and interpersonal skills
Schwarzer, Bowler and Rauch (1985) found out what about minority students?
Minority students proficient at communicating with the majority culture had no only higher levels of self esteem but also reported having less experience with racial tension and interethnic conflicts
Rogler, Cortes, and Malgady (1991) and Martinez (1987) discovered what about bicultural individuals who alternate between cultures?
They have higher cognitive functioning, better mental health and higher self esteem
Who was not so optimistic about biculturalism?
- Lorenzo-Hernandez (1998) - not committed to their group of origin or dominant group
- LaFromboise and colleagues (1993) - to successfully alternate, they must hold positive attitudes toward both cultures and be able to communicate effectively
What would you like to do?
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