Why Do Our Self-Perception Irrational in Perceiving Ourselves?

Topics: Psychology, Milgram experiment, Consistency Pages: 6 (1819 words) Published: April 9, 2013
How do we perceive ourselves? Are we attractive? Capable? Consistent ? Responsible ? Actually, most people seem to have positive views of themselves. In reality, perceiving ourselves is one of the important things to cognize our attitudes through observing our behavior. This essay aims to point out how to observe our positive self perception and prove the statement that we are not rational in perceiving ourselves through different behaviours such as attractiveness, self-serving biases, group polarization, consistency and perceptions of responsibility. Moreover, there are some instances explaining our consistency and self-serving biases underlying what we do without awareness.

Self-presentation is the behavior that people make themselves appear impressive and means that there is no one true self (Schlenker & Bonomer, 1971).People only show position to adapt a particular audience a positive image such as responsible, attractive and many other positive traits. (Harvey, Schwieger, Olson, 1982). This means our self-perception shows positively with attractivness, abilities, consistency and etc.

Firstly, concerning positive evaluations of one's attractiveness. Evaluations of one's own attractiveness being increasing though less strongly over time. (Cheuk, 2012) For example, people 's attractiveness being increasing acutely when he is young which may be the most attractive moment of his life. Although, his attractiveness being increasing though less strongly over time, Being to 50 years old, he still regards himself as 30 years old. Therefore, no matter being 50 years old or 70 years old, people are under impression that their attractiveness are with same to those 30 years old. It shows that the positive self-perceptions are expressed.

Secondly, ability is an individual's potential for performance, or the possibility of the individual being trained up to a specified level of ability. (Dictionary of Psychology) People seem to have some behavior such as their hair styles, self handdicapping to show they are engaging. Self handdicapping, which refers to techniques for intentionally putting themselves at a disadvantage to provide an excuse for an expected failure, is one of self-presentational behavior. (Cheuk, 2012) Self-handicapping is protecting one’s self-image with behaviors that create an available excuse for their failure. People also protect their images with self-handdicapping strategies, in which they intentionally put themselves at a disadvantage to provide an excuse for failure.(James W. Kalat, 2008)

Furthermore, people also maintain superiority over others to show they have abilities. For instance, when someone gets a satisfied result in the exam, he wants to compare with some guys who are better than him for learning more. Otherwise, he wants to compare with the worst one, when he gets the lower result. It show that people have the behavior which is downward comparison following failure.

Some people have bias to explain success and failure. They attribute their success to their own ability; on the contrary they attribute their failure to external influences.Attributions that we adopt to maximize credit for success and minimize blame for failure are called self serving biases (D. T. Miller & Ross, 1975: van der Pligt & Eiser, 1983) Self-serving biases are robust.Even students who have learned about them usually think the biases apply to other people more than themselves (Pronin, Gilovich, &ross, 2004).

Social facilitation is the tendency for people to do better on simple tasks in the presence of other people. This implies that whenever people are being watched by others, they will do well on things that they are already good at doing. (Strauss, B. 2001) For example, one's task performance in the presence of other is better than the presence alone because the task is his strength.

Thirdly, consistency is changing evaluation of others for maintaining overall consistence of...
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