Social Psychology Chapter 4: The Self

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Stigma Consciousness
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A readiness to precevive negative outcomes as a result of an individuals devalued group membership (i.e. women, minorities, etc.).
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There are a variety of self-presentation strategies,…
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these being Self-Promotion, Self-Ingratiation and the Self-Verification Perspective.
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Self-Promotion
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Attempting to present ourselves to others as having many positive attributes.
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Self-Ingratiation
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The process of trying to get others to like us, by making it fairly obvious, that we like them; relies heavily on praise and flattery.
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Self-Verification Perspective
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The theory, or process, that states that we \”lead\” or persuade others to agree with our views of ourselves. In essence we want other people to perceive us as we do ourselves.
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Shy people have a hard time…
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interacting with other people in the real world. However the internet, via the medium of chat rooms, discussion boards, etc., reduces this shyness. However this can result in compulsive internet use, and often be detrimental to the development of skills to deal with people in the real world.
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If a person is dishonest online…
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disdain and distrust develop, just like in the real world, especially by those who see us a members of their group.
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Self-Deprecation
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The idea that people put themselves down in front of others, implying that we are not as good as them, and thus that we \”need\” their friendship; this is very manipulative. This communicates admiration and superiority to the other party involved in this rouse.
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People prefer to communicate in asynchronous time…
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because it gives them a greater feeling of control over their self-presentation (i.e. more time to respond, like say in an email).
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Emotion, humor, sarcasm, etc….
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are hard to convey over an asynchronous medium. People often think that they are communicating to others accurately (in terms of say, sarcasm in an email) when in reality this isn’t the case.
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Asynchronous Communication
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The use of text, which allows a greater control of what we say to others, and when visual and tonal voice cues are absent.
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People often use…
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Self-Introspection as means for gaining more knowledge about themselves.
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Self-Introspection
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Means to privately contemplate \”who we are.\” It is an internal method for gaining self-knowledge. Better stated as, how to figure out \”who we are,\” and \”why we do the things we do.\”
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When people engage in introspection….
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a number of errors can occur, because people might not be aware of or possess conscious access to understanding there thoughts and behaviors. After we respond to a stimulus in a specific way we develop a variety of plausible reasons for \”why\” we did what we did, this may or may not be entirely accurate.
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When we think about our past…
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we often take an observers standpoint, and this leads us to see ourselves in a trait-consistent manner, which is not always the cause.
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When we think of the future…
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we often neglect to think about how unforeseeable events or circumstances will influence how we behave.
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Each individual possesses…
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multiple selves. These selves are contextually specific, and usually involves seeing ourselves via an individual or collective perspective.
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Social Identity Theory
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Addresses how we respond when our group identity is salient. Suggests we will move towards positive others, within our own group, while shying away from other negative in-group members who preform poorly or otherwise make our social identity negative.
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Salience (or Salient)
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When someone or something stands out from its background. Or when one is the center of attention. What differentiates us from others.
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Personal-versus-Social Identity Continuum
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This continuum signifies the \”multiple\” ways in which we identify ourselves. On the personal level we perceive ourselves to be unique individuals. While on the social identity level we think of ourselves as group members.
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Intragroup Comparisons
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Judgements that result from the comparisons between members of the same group.
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Intergroup Comparisons
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Judgements that result from the comparisons between our group and another group.
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The contextual situations that we find-ourselves in…
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will influence the aspect of the self that is \”salient.\” For example, if there is only one woman in an office environment, then her salience, or noticeable differences, will influence her perception of self.
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Several different factors influence the \”salience\” of self,…
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these being when the context makes it relevant, when the context makes one distinctive, or when it is important to us. Salience of self might also be influenced by the way people treat us and the language they use towards us.
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When there is conflict between our multiple identities…
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we can compromise, forgo group membership, or find it difficult to reconcile our incompatibilities. For instance, say a person is a homosexual and a member of an orthodox religion, this could result in an inability to reconcile our comparative differences.
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When others reject us….
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we often choose to emphasize the aspect of our identity that differentiates us from. We make our differences more \”salient\” as a form of individual rebellion.
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Images of future possible selves…
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can inspire an individual to make difficult life changes in the present to achieve a more desirable self.
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Autobiographical Memory
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Concerned with memory of ourselves in the past. Sometimes this perception encompasses the entire course of our lives.
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Possible Selves
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Images of how we might be in the future – either a \”dreaded\” potential to be avoided, or a \”desired\” potential that can be sought.
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Self-Efficacy
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The belief that we can achieve a goal, because of our own actions.
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Self-Control
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Forgoing short term awards, and instead waiting for more long-term rewards.
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More Self Control is likely to happen…
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when we construe ourselves at a more abstract level. Its also important to note that self-control can be thwarted by previous attempts at self-control (i.e. think of dieting, and not eating, then giving in because we failed at self-control).
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If we want to change our possible futures selves…
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we must practice Self-Efficacy.
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Construe or Self-Construal
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How we interpret or perceive ourselves.
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Self-Esteem
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The degree to which we perceive ourselves positively or negatively. Self-Esteem is either measured explicitly or implicitly.
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Self-Esteem is most frequently measured…
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via explicit comparisons.
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Self-Esteem is responsive…
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to life experiences, and more specific forms of Self-Esteem, depend on how we preform in these specific life instances.
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Low Self-Esteem…
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is not as predictive to social ills as once previously thought. In fact those with higher levels of self-esteem, particularly when they are unstable, are typically more violent, specifically when their \”superior\” perception of self is challenged.
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Is there a gender difference between Self-Esteem?
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Yes. But its a small difference. Women’s Self-Esteem is generally worse than men’s because we live in a world where women are still excluded form public life, and those that do work in the workforce are often victims of discrimination.
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Social Comparisons is the means….
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through which we define ourselves. We define ourselves by our comparison to others.
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Downward Social Comparison
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A comparison of ourselves to someone who is worse off, or inferior. This perspective can be helpful, as long as we don’t believe that our \”worse off\” kindred are our possible future.
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Upward Social Comparison
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A comparison of ourselves to someone who is better off, or superior to ourselves.
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Social Comparison Theory
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Developed by Festinger in 1954, suggests that people compare themselves to others because for many domains and attributes their is no objective \”yardstick\” to evaluate ourselves against, and other people are therefore highly informative.
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When people engage in \”Upward Social Comparison\”…
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they are often threatened by the superior individual. However when said threatened individual considers their superior to be a member of their own group, these superiors are viewed more positively.
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Social Comparison Theory spawned two other theories,…
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these being the Self-Evaluative Maintenance Model and Social Identity Theory.
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Self-Evaluative Maintenance Model
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The perspective that suggests that in order to maintain a positive view of ourselves, we distance ourselves from those who are superior to us, and move closer to those who we perceive as being inferior to us. This theory suggests that we do this to protect our Self-Esteem.
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Social Identity Theory is based on…
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comparisons between the individual and group level. When we are compared to our superiors individually we move away from them. While when we are comparing ourselves on the group level we move away from inferiors.
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Above Average Effect
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The tendency for most people to rate themselves as above average on most positive social attributes.
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Positive Illusions
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Beliefs we hold about ourselves that are not entirely accurate- that we can do more than we can, that negatives are more likely to befall others, and that our chances for success in life is higher than other peoples. Positive illusions are adaptive traits that help us cope with the sometimes grim reality of life.
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People generally evaluate themselves…
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Positively; thanks in part to a number of Self-Serving biases.
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Emotional responses….
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to a negative outcome are dependent on our attribution to the outcome. If we think that the outcome was caused by something internal, we will be more negative, whereas if we attribute an outcome to something external, we will be more positive.
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Stereotype Threat
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Can occur when people believe that they might be judged in light of a negative stereotype about their group, or that because of their performance on a specific task that they are confirming this negative stereotype.
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Stereotype Threats effects are…
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difficult to control, and can be induced easily. Simply by urging people to imply their group membership before taking a simple test can influence the tests outcome, negatively.
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The effects of Stereotype Threats can be dulled by…
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having the individual first affirm their most valuable and positive self-attribute.
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When people experience Stereotype Threat…
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they either distance themselves from their group and even the task at hand. However this poses a number of long term problems. One could potentially attempt to only distance themselves from only their specific groups negative stereotypes, rather than the entire group itself.
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The process or mechanism behind the Stereotype Threat occurs because of individual…
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Anxiety. It should be noted that self-report measures to measure anxiety have been inconclusive, whilst non-verbal cues are more telling of actual anxiety, because they are largely unconscious.

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