Our Sense of Self

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As Feenstra (2011) states in your textbook:
“Social psychologists are interested in who we are. Our sense of self is affected by what we know about the self and by the people around us. The self is a powerful force. The self affects how we feel, what we think we can do, and what we in fact do.” (pg. 32).

Expanding on the quotation above, describe how individuals develop a self-concept and self-schema.  Discuss the cultural, social, and environmental influences on that development. In what ways does our sense of self determine how we think about others and how we interact with individuals and groups of people? What is the significance of the acting self? In your response, be sure to address at least three of the key concepts presented in Table 2.2 of the reading.

Individuals develop a self-concept through learned behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that they usually get from their friends and family.  Self-concept is continuously developed by the reinforcement of factors such as religion, experiences, relationships and even actions.  The self-schema helps organize all the information we contain within the self-concept.     

The way we see ourselves versus the world’s view definitely plays a significant role in the choices we make, our behavior, and even our beliefs.  A person’s opinions of the world are generally influenced by the experiences they have with the outside world, both negative and positive, but ultimately it is the person’s reaction to the situation that forms the self-concept. “One large impact on the development of our self-concepts is our culture. Cultures vary greatly in a variety of ways, but one large difference is in the way cultures view the self and connections with others.” (Feenstra, J., Chp. 2, Sec. 2.1) Cultures that are independent view people as unique individuals while interdependent cultures believe that people should be viewed as a group. Having a healthy sense of self is essential for interaction with people.  Self-esteem plays...
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