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Self-Concept

By | Jan. 2002
Page 1 of 5
The Self-Concept is a complicated process of gaining self-awareness. It consists of mental images an individual has of oneself: physical appearance, health, accomplishments, skills, social talents, roles, intellectual traits, and emotional states and more –all make up our self-concept.

The development process begins at about six or seven months of age. The child begins to recognize "self" as distinct from surroundings. They stare at anything they see, including their own body parts; hands, feet, toes, and fingers. As they grow, their sense of identity expands through interactions with others –creating self-esteem levels that become the "booster" for the ability to interact. There are two theories that describe how interactions shape our self-views. One defines perceptions of the judgments of others called Reflected Appraisal. It is the notion of receiving supportive and nonsupportive messages. It states that positive appreciation and a high level of self-value is gain when supportive messages are received. In contrast, receiving nonsupportive messages leads to feeling less valuable, lovable, and capable. Everyone that you and I interact with influences these self-evaluations. Either from your past or from present –all shapes how you view yourself, especially from our significannot others. The strength of messages from significannot

others become stronger and eventually affect the health, when they are nonsupportive; depression, for instance, leads to less physical activities that are necessary for a healthy body. However, the foremost important influences are our parents. Supportive parents raise children with healthy self-concepts. While nonsupportive parents raise an unhappy child who view his/her self in negative ways.

The other theory defines evaluation of ourselves in terms of how we compare with others, called Social Comparison. There are two types, superior or inferior comparison and same as or different from others. We compare...
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