The Self-Concept and Self-Esteem

Topics: Motivation, Self-esteem, Self Pages: 6 (842 words) Published: September 25, 2014
The Self:
Self-concept and
Self-esteem
Outline and
The ABC’s of self
Affect:
How do we evaluate ourselves (self-esteem), enhance our self-images, and defend against threats to our self-esteem? Behavior:
How do we regulate our actions and present ourselves according to interpersonal demands (self-presentation)? Cognition:
How do we come to know ourselves, develop a self-concept, and maintain a stable sense of identity

Self-Concept
Self-Concept: The sum total of beliefs that people have about themselves. Where do our self-concepts come from?
Introspection
Perceptions of our own behavior
The influences of other people
Autobiographical memories
The cultures in which we live
Where does the self-concept come from? Introspection
Looking inward and examining your own thoughts, feelings, and motives Some people introspect more than others
Private vs. public self-consciousness
Problems with introspection as a source of self-knowledge:
People don’t spend a lot of time thinking about themselves (Csikszentmihalyi & Figurski, 1982) Introspection may actually impair self-knowledge (Wilson, 1985) Sometimes people are just plain wrong (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977) Introspection may make you feel bad – Self-awareness theory (Duval & Wicklund, 1972)

Where does the self-concept come from?
Observing our own behavior
Where does the self-concept come from?
Observing our own behavior
Self-perception theory (Bem, 1972)
Observing our own behavior to determine our thoughts and attitudes Only occurs when we are uncertain about how we think or feel Wells & Petty (1980) study
Overjustification effect
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic motivation
Lepper, Greene, & Nisbett (1973) study
Where does the self-concept come from?
Other people’s Influence
The Looking-Glass Self
Social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954)
Comparing yourself with others in order to gain information about the self

Two-Factor Theory of Emotion (Schacter & Singer, 1962)
Emotions are based on physiological arousal and a cognitive interpretation of that arousal Where does the self-concept come from?
Autobiographical Memory
Essential for a coherent self-concept
i.e., Memento
What experiences do we tend to recall?
We typically report more events from the recent than the distant past. We are often motivated to distort the past in ways that make us feel good Where does the self-concept come from? Culture

Outline and
The ABC’s of self
Affect:
How do we evaluate ourselves (self-esteem), enhance our self-images, and defend against threats to our self-esteem? Behavior:
How do we regulate our actions and present ourselves according to interpersonal demands (self-presentation)? Cognition:
How do we come to know ourselves, develop a self-concept, and maintain a stable sense of identity

Self-Esteem
Attitudes or evaluations about oneself
Effects of high vs. low self-esteem
Is high self-esteem always good?
Why evaluate oneself? Three Motives:
Self-assessment
Self-verification
Self-enhancement
Self-esteem
Why is Self-Esteem important?
Sociometer theory:
Satisfies our need to connect with and gain approval of others Terror management theory
Helps us reduce the fear of our own death

The Effect of Self-concept on Self-esteem
Self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1989)
Our emotional responses to self-discrepancies depend on the kind of discrepancy in question Actual vs. ought selves
Actual vs. ideal selves
Protecting or Enhancing Self-Esteem: Various Mechanisms
Self-serving thinking
Self-handicapping
Implicit Egotism
Downward social comparisons
BIRGing
Protecting or Enhancing Self-Esteem: Self-serving Thinking
Self-serving bias
blame failure on external events and take credit for success False consensus effect
Overestimating extent to which others agree with your opinions Unrealistic optimism
Believe good things are more likely to happen to you and believe that bad things are more likely to happen to others...
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