social psyc textbook summary chap 3, the social self

social psyc textbook summary chap 3, the social self -...

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Chapter 3: The Social Self - Neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote of a patient, William Thompson who had organic brain disorder that impaired his brain of recent events. Disoriented and no clear sense of who he was. Unable to ponder his own actions Sacks saw him to be “Desouled”, vacant Socially he always felt he had to put on a face for others and improvise characters for the company he kept. - Highlights two important points, one about the “inner” self and the other about the “outer” self. First, self-reflection is necessary for people to feel as if they understand their own motives, emotions and causes of their own behavior. Hence why Thompson seemed vacant. Second, the self is heavily influenced by social factors (why he always felt compelled to put on a face for others). The Self-Concept - Cocktail party effect : tendency of people to pick a personally relevant stimulus out of a complex environment. Ex: when you’re at a noisy gathering and manage to hear your name being mentioned from across the room. Cognitive Psych explanation: this shows people are selective in their attention Social Psych explanation: shows that the self is an important object of our own attention - Self-concept : Sum of total of an individual’s beliefs about his or her own personal attributes. - Made up of cognitive molecules, self-schemas : beliefs people hold about themselves. Self- schemas are to one’s self-concept what books are to a library. Ex: You can think of yourself as masculine or feminine, dependant or independent, liberal or conservative etc. Body-weight: people whom body weight is a conspicuous aspect of the self-concept are considered schematic with respect to weight. For those who body weight is not an important part of their lives are said to be aschematic. Beginnings of the Self-Concept - Besides humans, only the great apes (gorilla’s, chimps, orangutans) seem capable of self- recognition - Gordon Gallup conducted studies where he placed different animals in a room with a large mirror, and at first they all tried to interact with their reflection (vocalizing, gesturing etc.) After several days only the great apes realized it was their image they were looking at. - Other experiment: anaesthetized the animals and placed odorless red dye on their brows. When returned to the mirror, only the apes spontaneously reached for their own brows. - Similar red-dye test on humans have shown that infants begin to recognize themselves between 18 – 24 months. - Apes begin in their young adolescence. - Self- recognition is the first clear expression of the concept “me” - Second step involves social factors. - Looking-glass self : term to suggest that other people serve as a mirror in which we see ourselves. George Herbert Mead added that we often come to know ourselves by imagining what significant
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSYC 215 taught by Professor Michaelsullivan during the Spring '08 term at McGill.

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social psyc textbook summary chap 3, the social self -...

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