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What is the self complexity theory?
- Linville (1985)
- The self is made up of various aspects such as social roles and relationships and these overlap to form the self concept
- The self that is active at a given time is context dependent
- The impact of social feedback depends on how many self aspects are implicated by it
- The more aspects that are independent from each other, the more complex (i.e someone who is a outgoing at university and shy at home)
What is the spill-over amplification hypothesis?
- If self-aspects are overlapping, then a positive or negative evaluation of one self- aspect will have a greater overall affect on the self
- If self-aspects are relatively distinct, then a smaller proportion of the self is affected by a positive or negative evaluation of one self- aspect
Is the simple life better?
- Yes and No
- McConnell et al (2009)
- Found that people rates as lower in self complexity, the more they responded to positive and negative factors
- These people were found to have significantly higher self esteem, less depression and fewer illnesses than more complex people in the presence of greater social support
- They also had significantly poorer wellbeing if they had a history of negative events
What is personality made up of?
- 50% genes, 50% sociocultural environment
- This includes birth order, social context and culture
What is the born to rebel hypothesis?
- Sulloway (1996)
- Sibling conflict is frequent, especially when resources are lacking
- In order to peacefully coexist, siblings develop different personalities
- Firstborns are more conscientious, socially dominant, success driven and less agreeable than laterborns who are more open to new ideas (making them more likely to challenge the status quo)
- Older siblings are bigger, stronger and often act as surrogate parents so are more invested in the status quo
- Most US presidents are firstborns and revolutionary scientists were younger siblings
What is the distinctiveness hypothesis?
McGuire & Padawer-Singer (1978)
People in western cultures tend to describe themselves as how they are different from one another
What is the optimal distinction hypothesis?
- Brewer (2003)
- Individuals strive to attain an optimal balance of assimilation and distinction within social groups and situations
- Identification is strongest for situations in which it solves conflict. Lau (1989) found people in predominantly black areas identified the most
- Drives to integrate and different are affected by cultural norms, individual socialisation and experiences
What is the looking glass self?
- Cooley (1902) and Mead (1934)
- Our sense of self is developed by the interpersonal interactions we have with society and the perception of others
- Direct social feedback tells us who we are
What evidence disagrees with the looking glass self?
- Schrauger & Schoeneman (1979)
- Measured differences between self construals and ratings from others
- There was significant difference
- This doesn't disprove the theory, we might just be wrong about ourselves
- Feedback from others is biased, often people don't speak their mind because of social convention
- Confirmation bias could come into play when reviewing feedback
What is introspection?
The concept that we know who we are through privileged access to inner thoughts and feelings
Is introspection accurate?
- Nisbett & Wilson (1977) found that participants were sometimes unaware of stimuli that influenced response, unaware of the existence of responses to stimuli although aware of factors if they are obvious and salient
- Asked P's which nylon stocking they prefer, 4:1 preference for the right ones. Nobody noticed that this had been a factor
- Smith & Engel (1968) found that men were more likely to rate a car as better looking if it had an attractive female model standing next to it (but didn't realise this)
What is social comparison theory?
- Festinger (1954)
- People are driven to get accurate self evaluations in order to get rid of uncertainty
- The value of skills, traits, or attributes only becomes meaningful in comparison with others
- Upward comparison leads to motivation yet discouragements
- Downward comparison leads to a boost in self esteem
- The outcome of social comparisons depends on the amount of discrepancy and the self- relevance of the comparison standard
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