Chapter 3 - Psych-2310

Chapter 3 - Psych-2310 - Social Psychology Chapter Three...

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Social Psychology Chapter Three – Self-Perception and Self-Presentation Personal Factors and their Influence on Self-Concept Our self concept can be affected by many personal factors. Some of those factors are: Introspection: Introspection is the process of thinking about your thoughts and feelings; ‘turning inwards’ to analyze your thoughts regarding your actions, upcoming decisions, behaviours and feelings. However, those who spend more time analyzing their thoughts and behaviours are found to have a lower correlation between their attitudes and behaviours, making it harder to predict their behaviour based on their attitudes. On many occasions, our feelings, or “gut instincts” are better predictors of behaviour. Overestimation is another factor that can affect self-concept, as we believe that external influences will have a greater impact on us than they do in reality. Humans have a tendency to greatly overestimate the effect of positive and/or negative events on our moods and feelings. This is called Affective Forecasting . Self awareness and Self Regulation Self-Discrepancy , or the belief that our self concept is affected by the gap (discrepancy) between our ideal selves (how we want to see ourselves) and our actual selves (how we see ourselves; our self concept), is another factor that affects our self concept. Self discrepancy is present in all persons, but the size of the gap varies between people. Those who experience a greater discrepancy tend to feel worse about themselves than those who experience a smaller discrepancy. Some theories disregard self discrepancy and state that people think less about the difference between their self concept and ideal self and thus, only when that discrepancy is brought to a person’s attention is it thought about or recognized. This results in Self Awareness Theory, which states that people focus on the discrepancy when it is brought to their attention, or they focus on their own behaviour. Many things can lead to this attention such as standing in front of a crowd (giving a presentation or speech), looking into a mirror (watching your behaviour), or hearing one’s voice on tape or watching a video recording of oneself. The theory says that people who are more self aware will be more likely to match their behaviour to their attitudes (not lying or stealing when looking into a mirror or seeing a reflection of oneself). Being self aware will usually result in a closer match between a person’s attitudes and behaviour, but sometimes we cannot successfully meet our standards. Psychologists theorize that ‘willpower’ is only available in finite amounts, and thus can be used up. Once we expend some of our willpower, it becomes more difficult to do so again. Suppressing thoughts or purposely avoiding thinking about something can also backfire, and affect our willpower in later situations. Escaping from self awareness can happen when we cannot make our behaviour meet our personal
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2011 for the course PSYC 2310 taught by Professor Safdar during the Spring '11 term at University of Guelph.

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Chapter 3 - Psych-2310 - Social Psychology Chapter Three...

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