02 Self-concept

02 Self-concept - Study Question #2: Use what you learned...

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Study Question #2: Use what you learned in class and from the text to explain what the self-concept is and to describe how the processes below shape it’s content: Self-concept The self-concept is what a person believes to be true about themselves. These are all of the thoughts and feelings that internally define the person, such as “I’m good at the piano” or “I get angry easily”. This main theory we all have about ourselves is constructed through individual experience and evolves over time with new experiences. However, not every experience is internalized into the self-concept. During our lives we chose many times over which experiences to be representative of ourselves as a whole. These experiences mostly come from our own actions and behavior and from how we think other’s view us. For instance, if someone has the idea in their self-concept that they are a “likable person”, that characteristic of themselves has been decided upon through selectively choosing those experiences that show they are a “likable person”. These may be experiences of making a lot of friends, being depended upon by others and receiving compliments about being “nice” or “cool”. Although, even though this person views themselves as “likable” and has some experiences to back it up, there are probably other experiences they’ve had that don’t make them seem so “likable”, like making enemies in high school or having an aunt yell at them as a child. This person chose to make the characteristic of “likable” part of their self-concept and, in doing so, they have shaped the “narrative” of themselves so that makes them end up being, among other things, “likable”. This narrative is a story a person remembers in order to explain to themselves and others how they got to be the way they are. If, for instance, this same person thought of themselves as being more “not likable” then “likable”, then they might explain that with a narrative employing different experiences from her life, like, as before stated, making enemies in the past and being yelled at as a child. The critical thing is that we decide which characteristics to embody in ourselves, to form our self-concept, by choosing experiences that we think representative of ourselves. These self- concepts, in turn, guide us to behave in ways to validate this theory of ourselves over and over again to further strengthen it and to verify to ourselves who we think we are. Information Processing
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PSC 3080 taught by Professor Mccreary during the Fall '05 term at CSU Stanislaus.

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02 Self-concept - Study Question #2: Use what you learned...

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