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Unformatted text preview: Introduction Why does “the self” count as social psychology? How we feel about ourselves: – Influences the way we judge/interact with others
– Is influenced by how others judge/interact with us 1 PHYSICAL SELFDESCRIPTIONS
– Refer to physical qualities that do not imply social interaction; “identity card” type information
– Examples: “I am female”; “I am a redhead.” SOCIAL SELFDESCRIPTIONS
– Refer to relationships, group memberships, social roles, and attitudes which are socially defined and validated
– Examples “I am a son”; “I am American”; “I am on the soccer team”; “I am a worker in the Admissions Office”; “I am a Redskins fan.” PSYCHOLOGICAL SELFDESCRIPTIONS
– Refer to psychological traits and states and to attitudes which do not refer to particular social referents
– Examples: “I am shy”; “I am happy”; “I am ambitious”; “I like to drink socially”; “I dislike hypocrites”; “I like good music.” HOLISTIC SELFDESCRIPTIONS
– Refer to characteristics so comprehensive or vague that they do not distinguish one person from another
– Examples: “I am me”; “I am a human being.” SelfConcept Our knowledge about who we are Cognitive component of the self Consists primarily of personal attributes – Think of self in terms of characteristics that make us different
– Depends on: Situation Culture
3 The self in collectivist vs individualist cultures “I am _______________”. People with an individualist orientation tend to answer with trait descriptions (“I am shy”, “I am intelligent”). People with a collectivist orientation tend to answer with group affilations (“I am a college student”)
4 Individualist vs. Collectivist Cultures
Individualism “Independent” selfconcept Selfesteem linked more to Collectivism “Interdependent selfconcept
Selfesteem linked more to individual traits and group achievement and sacrifice
Identity is based on personal Identity is based on one’s social achievements and goals
People are encouraged to People are encouraged to validate the self.
restrain the self to fit with the group
Disapproves of conformity
Disapproves of egotism
5 Selfawareness The act of thinking about ourselves People are usually not selffocused. Certain situations, however, can increase selfawareness, e.g., mirror. Heightened selfawareness can lead us to compare our internal states with out outwards behavior. This comparison can produce negative discrepancies, leading to discomfort.
6 Selfawareness In order to cope, we can do 2 things: Behave in ways to reduce the discrepancy (e.g., change their behaviors, attitudes) Withdraw from selfawareness People who are more selfabsorbed are more likely to suffer from alcoholism, anxiety, and depression However, if we focus on the self during times of joy and accomplishments, self
awareness can increase happiness 7 Examples of selfawareness effects Halloween trickortreaters take less candy from and unguarded bowl of candy when a mirror is placed behind the bowl. People are less likely to stereotype others when they can see themselves (in a mirror or on TV), or when their names flash on a screen. Receiving bogus negative feedback caused people to drink more wine (to escape self
8 Selfreference Tendency for people to remember information better if they relate to it themselves. • the self produces a rich set of cues
• selfreference instructions encourage people to consider how their personal traits are related to one another
• You rehearse material more frequently if it is associated with yourself.
9 Sequence of events in Rogers et al.’s (1979) selfreference experiment. (b) Results of the experiment.
10 SelfEsteem Selfesteem: how much value people place on themselves Can fluctuate in response to life e
11 High Selfesteem A highly positive global selfevaluation View self as competent, good, and decent Feeling of pride 12
12 Low Selfesteem Low Selfesteem: a highly negative global selfevaluation Feeling of shame, hopelessness 13
13 Where does selfesteem come from? Evaluations of self after successes and failures (selfevaluation) Success in valued domains – E.g., performance, social skills, appearance Societal values In America, men typically have higher levels of selfesteem – Women base esteem more on appearance and media portrayals 14
14 How is selfesteem measured? Explicit measures – E.g., Rosenberg, “On the whole, I am satisfied with myself”…” All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.” Implicit measures – E.g., nameletter preference. Less obvious
15 High Selfesteem: Good or Bad? High SE related to – less stress – fewer psychosomatic symptoms – Greater perceived control
– Intrinsic motivation
– Optimism and hope 16
16 High Selfesteem: Good or Bad? High SE …. – More ingroup favoritism
– More risktaking
– Defensiveness Research suggests that high selfesteem more problematic for those with high explicit selfesteem & low implicit self
17 Narcissism Large sense of selfimportance (selfcentered, self
admired, high selfconfidence)
Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and should associate with other special or highstatus people Takes advantage of others to achieve own ends
Sense of entitlement Lack empathy
18 Narcissism Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of them. Positives: less depressed, sad, anxious, and less reactive to stress
– Is especially high among reality TV stars, celebrities (incl. politicians) Has increased over the past 30 years 19
19 Enhancing Selfesteem Bask in Reflected Glory (BIRG) – Increasing selfesteem by associating with others who are successful.
– More people wear school sweatshirts on campus after their school’s sports team wins than after their school’s sports team loses.
– “We won”, “they lost”. Cut Off Reflected Failure (CORF) – Distancing from others who have failed 20
20 Need to maintain selfesteem
Maintaining high SE is one of the basic
motives of the self. 21
21 Intrinsic Motivation Pursuing a goal/engaging in an activity because we enjoy it or find it interesting. – Highly individualized
– Absence of an external reward or pressure
Studies show that when people are intrinsically motivated to do something they are more likely to enjoy the activity and are more likely to persist in it
22 Extrinsic Motivation Extrinsic – pursuing a goal/engaging in an activity because of external rewards and pressures. – Less indivudualized 23
23 The overjustification effect Tendency for intrinsic motivation to diminish for activities that have become associated w/extrinsic awards. the person may now see the reward (extrinsic) as the motivation for performing the task, underestimating intrinsic interest Only works when the activity is initially interesting.
E.g., children that are given a ribbon for playing with markers are less likely to play with them later when there is no reward offered (compared to children who never received a ribbon in the first place).
15 Percent of
time playing 10
0 Expected reward Unexpected reward No reward 25
25 Types of Rewards Taskcontingent rewards – Rewards given for performing a task, regardless of how well the task is performed. – Examples: trophies for all little leaguers Performancecontingent rewards – Rewards based on how well the task is performed
– Examples: Grades in school, job promotions 26
26 Understanding our emotions: Schachter & Singer (1960s) A 2factor theory of emotion… Physiological arousal + a label (cognition) = emotion Label= result of experience and environmental cues (eg, the situation, reactions of others) 27
27 Schachter’s Twofactor Theory
Physiological Arousal Cognitive Label Run/Heart Pound I’m afraid/danger Fear Perception and thought about a stimulus influence the type of emotion felt
Degree of bodily arousal influenced the intensity of 28
emotion felt Misattribution of Arousal How do we figure out how WE’RE feeling? 2 sources of info about our own feelings: – Physiological arousal – Situation information (attribution of source) For love: – “my heart is pounding” (physiological state)
– “I am with this hot man/woman! I must be in love!!!!” (appropriate love object)
29 Shaky bridge study Men crossed: – a wobbly, shaky bridge 230 feet above rapids (high arousal)
– or sturdy bridge 10 feet above ground (low arousal) Met by woman research assistant – questionnaire and phone number for information about the study Dependent variable: Whether the participants called the research assistant 30
30 Shaky bridge study
of men who
Sturdy bridge Shaky bridge • Interpreted their arousal as coming from attraction.
• Emotionsexual attraction link. 31
31 Misattribution in the Lab Males threatened with weak or severe electric shock (=arousal)
In waiting room, meet attractive female confederate (disguised as another subject)
How much would you like to date her?
– Strong shock >> Weak shock How much would you like to kiss her?
– Strong shock >> Weak shock 32
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course PSYC 2012 taught by Professor Michellestock during the Fall '11 term at GWU.
- Fall '11