self_descriptions - WH ZIMMERMANN Title: Development...

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WH ZIMMERMANN – Title: Development sequences in „self descriptions” in children based on Morris Rosenberg (1979)’s findings. ABSTRACT: Rosenberg (1979)’s findings were based on the work from Bannister and Agnew (1977) (Open University, 2010). The work dealt with how to define self-concepts in children, how society changes it and if there was a sequence during its development. The study looks for patterns to categorise the features of self- descriptions the children gave. An interview followed the questionnaire, delving into what Rosenberg (1979) termed “the locus of self knowledge”, which added dimension to the understanding of the child’s self awareness (Open University, p23). Participants were an 8 year old and a young adult aged 16. The data was scored using Rosenberg (1979)’s PCRI categories. Comparisons showed that the child’s self description rested on her activities and that of the young adult revealed deeper emotions, desires, goals for the future, worries and secrets. These results confirmed the findings of Rosenberg (1979)’s hypothesis. 1
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WH ZIMMERMANN – Introduction Psychologists have been looking into development of identity or rather how identity forms or develops in children. Culturally identity differs in every form, as the same behaviour can be interpreted differently in different regions and cultures (Tobin 1998). Other scientists disagree on how uniqueness of identity can be distinguished (Geertz, 1984). Children grow to become „self aware” gradually forming their own persona (Ding and Littleton, 2005). Piaget (1976) has put the stages in four groups of child development. Understanding of self is believed to happen in the infant’s stage around 18 months. James (1961) suggests that the child ‘s next stage of development is the development of sense with the sense that the child understands the idea of „self as object”. As the child grows they start to place or position themselves through interaction (Dunn 1988). Children begin to describe themselves in terms of how others describe them (Harter 1983). Bannister and Agnew (1977) found that children would go on from defining themselves according to physical activities to forming psychological opinions about themselves as they grow (Open university, 2010, p23). This research looks at how Rosenberg (1979) took this further by categorising the replies from children’s descriptions. The results reveal whether there is a difference in how these descriptions would change in time from around childhood into adolescence. To make the findings valid, Rosenberg (1979), used the aspect of „locus of self knowledge”, to find deeper meaning by interviewing the children on aspect of knowledge about themselves and what others think of them. The results from the investigation should reveal that there is trend
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2011 for the course PSYCH ED209 taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '10 term at The Open University.

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self_descriptions - WH ZIMMERMANN Title: Development...

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