Self-Discrepancy and the Level of Satisfaction with Life

Topics: Psychology, Self-concept, Identity Pages: 11 (3224 words) Published: October 20, 2008

The aim of the study is to understand and examine the relationship between self-discrepancy and the level of satisfaction with life. The study is based on the theory of Carl Rogers and in carried out in a humanistic approach.

A total of 60 questionnaires are obtained with validity with subjects aged 12 to 35 of both sexes. The modified California Q-set and the Satisfaction with Life Scale were adopted to measure the discrepancy between actual self and ideal self and the level of satisfaction with life respectively.

The SPSS program was chosen as the method for data analysis. The findings indicated that a significant negative relationship between the discrepancy of self and the. In all, the study provided partial extension of self-discrepancy theory. It contributed to self-discrepancy research in relation to satisfaction with life and anxiety.


Aims of the Study
Self / Self Concept
Incongruence, Anxiety and Defend Mechanism
Satisfaction with Life
Strength & Limitation of theory
Limitations of research
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Table 2
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Table 4
Table 5
In social psychology, the concept of self-consistency and self-inconsistency has generated increasing concern since the incidence of self-conflicts would affect psychological adjustment and well-being of individuals. Over the last couple of decades, various classic theories relating self and affect postulate that individuals who have incompatible self-beliefs or self-inconsistencies are likely to experience discomfort feelings and emotional problems (Freud, 1961; Rogers, 1961). Unlike Freund, Rogers emphasis on the need to understand how a person sees him/herself. Taking focus in conscious subjective view of self, the phenomenal field, free will of behavior is put forward in stead of being driven. It is suggested that a discrepancy between the actual self and ideal self would lead to anxiety, and contribute to the development of the defense mechanism which influence the well-being of the individual. In short, Rogers’s (1961) view of cognitive disparity focused on the discrepancy between an individual’s real self and ideal self as an indicator of maladjustment (Fromson, 2006). A larger discrepancy is suggested to mean a larger degree or anxiety and a less well-adjusted the individual. A well-adjusted person is meant to be psychological healthy on aspects like feeling of self-esteem and life role quality in social relation and marriage, which compose the life of an individual.

Aim of Study
The study is purposed to examine the relationship between self discrepancy and life satisfaction based on Carl Rogers’ theory, using a humanistic approach.

Given the specified aim, the following hypothesis is made:
H0: A larger discrepancy between the actual self and the ideal self would mean a lower degree of satisfaction with life.
Self / Self Concept
The human organism's "phenomenal field" includes all experiences available at a given moment, both conscious and unconscious (Rogers, 1959). Rogers originally failed to recognize the importance of "self". When he began his work he had the "settled notion that the "self" was a vague, ambiguous, scientifically meaningless term which had gone out of the psychologist's vocabulary with the departure of the introspectionists" (1959, p.200). However, through his work with clients he came to...

References: Satisfaction with Life
Shin and Johnson (1978) describe the board concept of happiness as the individual’s assessment of the quality of life as per the criteria set by the individual
Kareem, Shazia, M.A.: When East meets West: The relations between acculturation, self-discrepancy, and life satisfaction, Southern Connecticut State University, 2005
Markus, H., & Kitayama, S
Markus, H., & Wurf, E. (1987). The dynamic self-concept: A social psychological perspective. Annual Review of Psychology; 1987, 38, 299-337.
Ryckmann, R.M. (1993) Theories of personality (5th ed.) California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.
Forston, M. T., & Stanton, A. L. (1992). Self-discrepancy theory as a framework for understanding bulimic symptomatology and associated distress. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 11 (2), 103-118.
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