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Although past research suggests that temperament is a substrate of child personality e. A necessary first step is establishing that early individual differences in emotional expressiveness are actually reflected in the ways that children describe their own personalities. There is reason to believe that the preschool period might be a critical age for examining these emotional underpinnings of the self-concept. They also noted that by age 4, children demonstrate many individual differences in temperament and child personality, but it remains unclear whether these differences correspond to differences in their self-reported personalities.

This emphasis on the caregiver as integral to the self-concept has been best delineated by attachment theory. Bowlby claimed that a working model of the self is constructed via early interactions between caregivers and their infants. Prior research has indeed linked attachment security to a more positive self-view in 5—6 year-old children e.

Although this work suggests that the parent-child relationship is an integral context for self-concept formation, less research has linked specific patterns of parenting behavior to specific dimensions of the self-concept. Similarly, Eccles and colleagues Eccles et al. Attachment theory also argues that children who experience parents as emotionally supportive are more likely to construct a working model of the self as someone competent, likeable, and worthy of support e.

Thus, we might expect both positive i. A family systems perspective on self-concept development suggests that it is essential to examine the attributes and behaviors of multiple family members, and to explore how specific family contexts may operate differentially e. Examining family episodes that include the child and both parents serves as a logical starting point for the exploration of this hypothesis. Thompson and Goodvin noted that the emergence of the self-concept reflects both intrapersonal development from within the child and interpersonal development from relational influences.

Theoretical accounts of self-concept development suggest that it is not just temperament per se, but rather the socialization of temperament, that contributes to the developing self e. Support for this notion comes from research showing that children who receive negative feedback from parents may inhibit emotional expression, and develop a view of the self that is tied to their view of the world as a critical place Camras et al. For example, children who receive negative parental feedback for bold behavior may not describe themselves as bold children, and may even integrate this feedback into denigrating views of their personality or lowered self-esteem.

In contrast, those who garner parental encouragement may incorporate that early personality characteristic into their sense of self, and perhaps develop a more positive outlook on other aspects of their personality. Conversely, we expected hostility in these contexts to be related to greater child-reported Timidity and lower child-reported Agreeableness. Given the limited scope of previous self-concept research, the investigation of differences between mothers vs. Written informed consent was obtained from all parents prior to their participation.

Some families were recruited as part of a prior longitudinal study of family interaction, and the remaining families were recruited from birth announcements published in local newspapers. There were no demographic differences between the two sub-samples. All couples were married and living together, with a mean duration of marriage of 8. When children were 3 years old, parents were videotaped interacting in the home with their child in a variety of semi-structured episodes designed to evaluate child temperament, dyadic parenting behavior, and triadic mother, father, child family interaction.

One year later, children completed a videotaped self-concept questionnaire at the laboratory. The Lab-TAB is an observational assessment of child temperament that consists of a battery of episodes, each of which is designed to elicit and assess individual differences in emotional reactivity.

The measure has been used in a wide range of studies of emotional development and parent-child interaction e. Children were videotaped in four episodes of the home version of the preschool Lab-TAB. Episodes were completed in the following standard order with brief breaks between tasks. After 3. Altogether, the episodes lasted between 12 and 15 minutes. Researchers have adopted both global e.

In the present study, two independent coders rated temperamental characteristics on thirteen 5-point global rating scales designed for use in conjunction with the home version of the Preschool Lab-TAB. Coders conferred to resolve discrepancies, and consensus scores were reached in all cases. The 13 global rating scales were subjected to principal components analysis with varimax rotation. Three components, all with eigenvalues greater than 1, resulted from this analysis.

The third factor, Undercontrol , essentially measured low inhibitory control, or the degree to which the child is impulsive. Although this factor did account for a significant portion of the variance in temperament, only Boldness and Proneness-to-Distress were hypothesized to show significant associations with the self-concept dimensions used in this study.

The dimensions of boldness and proneness-to-distress converge with constructs that are commonly used to characterize children of this age. The undercontrol dimension, although often linked to outcomes such as externalizing behavior problems Rothbart et al. The behaviors that characterize undercontrolled children are not generally assessed by the CSVQ. Thus, only Boldness and Proneness-to-Distress will be discussed in this paper. These two variables were created by averaging the scores for the rating scales that loaded onto each factor.

Each parent interacted with his or her child for 10 minutes during a puzzle task chosen to be too difficult for the child to complete independently. Although some dyads took longer than 10 min to complete the puzzle, only the first 10 min were coded to be consistent across dyads. Using 7-point coding scales adapted from Egeland and Sroufe and Sroufe, Jacobvitz, Mangelsdorf, DeAngelo, and Ward , two trained research assistants coded the parent — child puzzle episodes for a variety of dimensions of parental behavior.

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Coders conferred to resolve discrepancies and to reach consensus scores for each parent. Based on conceptual grounds and a pattern of high intercorrelations, the parenting dimensions were combined to form two composite dimensions for both mothers and fathers. Intercorrelations among these variables ranged from 80 — 95 for mothers, and 78 — 91 for fathers. Intercorrelations among the scales ranged from 23 — 63 for mothers, and 27 — 57 for fathers. These two factors follow from much past work using the same or very similar scales that has identified both positive and negative parenting factors consisting of similar combinations of parenting behaviors e.

The hostility dimension is similar to other investigations that have yielded a single factor consisting of anger, negative affect, and intrusive or over-controlling parenting e. Researchers videotaped mother-father-child triads working on a building task together for 10 minutes.

As in the dyadic puzzle task, this activity was designed to be too difficult for the child to complete independently. Family interaction dimensions were coded using a variety of scales adapted from Lindahl and Malik and Cox Based on conceptual grounds and a pattern of high intercorrelations, family interaction scales were combined to form two composite dimensions. Intercorrelations among scales ranged from 62 — Intercorrelations among scales ranged from 28 — For each of the 62 CSVQ items, two puppets make competing statements about their behavior, feelings, or the way that other people behave towards them e.

Are you usually happy or are you not usually very happy? Children took approximately 30—35 minutes to complete the measure, and their answers were recorded by a research assistant after each item. Thus, overall mean scores represent the mean number of items that children endorsed for each factor. By convention, missing items were assigned a score of 0. After examining inter-item correlations in this sample, several slight adjustments were made to the Brown et al. Internal reliability was adequate, and indeed relatively high for self-report data from young children.

As a result, subsequent analyses focused only on the Timidity and Agreeableness dimensions. Two sets of analyses were conducted based on our major research questions. There were no significant associations between any demographic variables child sex or age, parent age or education, birth order, or family income and either of the self-concept dimensions. Analyses revealed that temperamental proneness-to-distress and triadic family interaction were associated with both of the child self-concept dimensions.

In considering these and subsequent findings, it should be noted that the intercorrelations among scales comprising the family discord and parental hostility factors were modest, which may represent somewhat lower internal consistency relative to the family harmony and positive engagement dimensions. Children who were prone to distress at age 3 were more likely to see themselves as timid and less likely to see themselves as agreeable at age 4.

When families showed higher levels of harmony at age 3, children described themselves as less timid at age 4. Moreover, families who displayed higher levels of discord had children who described themselves as more timid and less agreeable the following year. Although there were a number of significant bivariate correlations, it should be noted that these associations were all modest in size.

In order to determine the independent effects of these variables, we included temperamental proneness-to-distress and family interaction in the same block of variables in separate regression equations predicting each self-concept dimension. In each regression equation, child temperament the independent variable and either dyadic parenting or triadic interaction the possible moderators were entered on the first step. On the second step, the product of these variables was entered. All variables were first centered using deviation scores to reduce multicollinearity.

Our findings suggest the necessity for more empirical research that uses interactive and transactional models to examine the child, parent, and family-level correlates of the early self-concept. Children who were judged as more prone to distress at age 3 described themselves as more timid and less agreeable at age 4 than did children who were low on proneness-to-distress.

The association between proneness-to-distress and Agreeableness is consistent with past research linking temperamental difficulty to low peer competence e. Thus, the tendency to exhibit negative emotionality may serve as an obstacle to developing new and close relationships for some children. Negative affect may elicit clear and frequent social responses that children apply to their self-views i. These results indicated that families with more harmonious interactions had children who described themselves as being more adventurous.

Alternatively, family triads characterized by high levels of discord were more likely to have children who saw themselves as more fearful and less agreeable. The present study provides some degree of contextual specificity by noting that this direct link occurs in the context of triadic interactions involving the child and both parents. Perhaps the degree of communication required at this level of family interaction provides increased opportunities for children to receive direct feedback about their emotions and personality.

This idea is in line with the emotional security hypothesis e. Future work will also need to determine whether effects observed in this study are unique to the mother-father-child triad, or whether other triadic constellations e. As such, subsequent investigations should explore the processes that link triadic interaction to self-concept development. Specifically, temperamentally bold children viewed themselves as adventurous only when mothers engaged in positive and supportive parenting behavior.

When mothers were less positive and more hostile, bold children and shy children essentially described themselves as equally timid. Notably, this means that more positive maternal parenting does not necessarily lead to universally positive self-concepts. Indeed, the highest levels of Timidity were observed among children who lacked temperamental boldness, and had mothers who were rated as being positively engaged and low on hostility. The socialization practices of less sensitive mothers may push children to develop self-views that are independent of their temperamental dispositions.

Understanding the developmental consequences of this freedom, particularly for temperamentally fearful children, is an important question for future research. These results indicated that children who were temperamentally prone to distress later saw themselves as less agreeable only when fathers were low on positive engagement and high on hostility during father-child interaction. A child who is easily distressed may very well be uncomfortable in new social situations if fathers engage in more negative and hostile parenting behaviors.

Furthermore, these results are more easily interpreted in light of relevant research on fatherhood. Although there is little debate that mothers influence many aspects of social development, the idea that fathering behavior works in conjunction with temperamental proneness-to-distress fits with prior work indicating that father-child interaction plays an especially important role in helping children learn to manage high-intensity emotions e. Conclusions drawn from this research must be considered in light of several limitations. Although this study utilized multiple observational assessments, the sample was relatively small and homogenous.

Importantly, this was also a correlational study without repeated measures, and is thus not a true longitudinal investigation in the conventional sense. Because the self-concept has not yet been reliably measured in 3-year-olds, administration of the CSVQ at this age was not appropriate. Nonetheless, subsequent research could benefit from longitudinal investigations that track self-concept development and child, parent, and family characteristics across multiple timepoints.

Without this work, we are left to speculate about causal directions. For example, it may well be that how children think of themselves serves as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that impacts their behavior and observed temperamental characteristics. Similarly, we still know relatively little about the mechanisms and processes underlying individual differences in self-concept development.

At this point, interpretations of developmental processes remain largely speculative. Nonetheless, the childhood self-concept is certainly multidimensional e. A broader self-esteem dimension may possess a different set of child and family correlates than the specific dimensions measured in this study. Finally, although the reliability of these self-concept dimensions was greater than much past research with preschool children e. One of the more intriguing aspects of this research is the contextual differences that were found between dyadic vs.

Such work may also be critical for educators and family practitioners concerned with fostering programs, interventions, and strategies that promote positive self-concept development in early childhood. Geoffrey L. Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Northwestern University. Sarah J. Cynthia A. Frosch, University of Texas at Dallas.

Europe PMC requires Javascript to function effectively. Recent Activity. This study explored how children's self-concepts were related to child temperament, dyadic parenting behavior, and triadic family interaction. At age 3, child temperament, mothers' and fathers' parenting behavior, and triadic mother, father, and child family interaction were observed in the homes of fifty families. At age 4, children's self-concepts were assessed using the Children's Self-View Questionnaire Eder, Analyses revealed that temperamental proneness-to-distress and triadic family interaction made independent contributions to children's self-reported Timidity and Agreeableness.

In contrast, dyadic parenting behavior moderated the associations between child temperament and children's self-reported Timidity and Agreeableness, such that temperament was only associated with children's self-concepts when mothers and fathers engaged in particular parenting behaviors. Results suggest both direct and interactive influences of family dynamics and child characteristics on children's self-concept development. The snippet could not be located in the article text. This may be because the snippet appears in a figure legend, contains special characters or spans different sections of the article.

Author manuscript; available in PMC May PMID: Brown , Sarah C. Mangelsdorf , Cynthia Neff , Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan , and Cynthia A. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Geoffrey L. Franklin St. Copyright notice. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. A Family Systems Perspective on Self-Concept Development A family systems perspective on self-concept development suggests that it is essential to examine the attributes and behaviors of multiple family members, and to explore how specific family contexts may operate differentially e.

Procedure When children were 3 years old, parents were videotaped interacting in the home with their child in a variety of semi-structured episodes designed to evaluate child temperament, dyadic parenting behavior, and triadic mother, father, child family interaction. Dyadic parenting behavior assessment Each parent interacted with his or her child for 10 minutes during a puzzle task chosen to be too difficult for the child to complete independently. Triadic family interaction assessment Researchers videotaped mother-father-child triads working on a building task together for 10 minutes.

Results Two sets of analyses were conducted based on our major research questions. Open in a separate window.

The Self-Concept: European Perspectives on its Development, Aspects, and Applications

Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Limitations and Future Research Conclusions drawn from this research must be considered in light of several limitations. Contributor Information Geoffrey L. Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage; Ashmore RD. Sex, gender, and the individual.

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In: Pervin LA, editor. Handbook of personality: Theory and research. New York: Guilford; Belsky J. The determinants of parenting: A process model. Child Development. Attachment and loss. New York: Basic Books; Early father involvement moderates biobehavioral susceptibility to mental health problems in middle childhood. Pouring new wine into old bottles: The social self as internal working model. Minnesota Symposium of Child Psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum; Bretherton I, Beeghly M.

Talking about internal states: The acquisition of an explicit theory of mind. Developmental Psychology. Bronfenbrenner U. The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press; Social Development Buhs ES. Peer rejection, negative peer treatment, and school adjustment: Self-concept and classroom engagement as mediating processes. Journal of School Psychology. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Recognition and posing of emotional expressions by abused children and their mothers. Cassidy J. Child-mother attachment and the self in 6-year-olds. A longitudinal study of Q-sort attachment security and self-processes at age 5.

Infant and Child Development. Cox M. Unpublished coding scales. One simple yet powerful demonstration of cultural differences in self-concept affecting social behavior is shown in a study that was conducted by Kim and Markus In this study, participants were contacted in the waiting area of the San Francisco airport and asked to fill out a short questionnaire for the researcher. After completing the questionnaires which were not used in the data analysis except to determine the cultural backgrounds , participants were asked if they would like to take a pen with them as a token of appreciation.

The experimenter extended his or her hand, which contained five pens. In this study, participants from European American and East Asian cultures were asked to choose a pen as a token of appreciation for completing a questionnaire. There were either four pens of one color and one of another color, or three pens of one color and two of another. European Americans were significantly more likely to choose the more uncommon pen color in both cases. Data are from Kim and Markus , Experiment 3. As we have seen, the self-concept is a rich and complex social representation of who we are, encompassing both our internal characteristics and our social roles.

The multidimensional nature of our self-concept means that we need to consider not just each component in isolation, but also their interactions with each other and their overall structure. Two particularly important structural aspects of our self-concept are complexity and clarity. Some selves are more complex than others, and these individual differences can be important in determining psychological outcomes.

Having a complex self means that we have a lot of different ways of thinking about ourselves. For example, imagine a woman whose self-concept contains the social identities of student, girlfriend, daughter, psychology student , and tennis player and who has encountered a wide variety of life experiences. Social psychologists would say that she has high self-complexity.

On the other hand, a man who perceives himself primarily as either a student or as a member of the soccer team and who has had a relatively narrow range of life experiences would be said to have low self-complexity. For those with high self-complexity, the various aspects of the self are separate, as the positive and negative thoughts about a particular self-aspect do not spill over into thoughts about other aspects. The benefits of self-complexity occur because the various domains of the self help to buffer us against negative events and enjoy the positive events that we experience.

For people low in self-complexity, negative outcomes in relation to one aspect of the self tend to have a big impact on their self-esteem. For example, if the only thing that Maria cares about is getting into medical school, she may be devastated if she fails to make it. On the other hand, Marty, who is also passionate about medical school but who has a more complex self-concept, may be better able to adjust to such a blow by turning to other interests.

People with high self-complexity seem to react more positively to the good things that happen to them but not necessarily less negatively to the bad things. And the positive effects of self-complexity are stronger for people who have other positive aspects of the self as well. Theoretically, the concepts of complexity and clarity are independent of each other—a person could have either a more or less complex self-concept that is either well defined and consistent, or ill defined and inconsistent.

However, in reality, they each have similar relationships to many indices of well-being. For example, as has been found with self-complexity, higher self-concept clarity is positively related to self-esteem Campbell et al. Why might this be? Perhaps people with higher self-esteem tend to have a more well-defined and stable view of their positive qualities, whereas those with lower self-esteem show more inconsistency and instability in their self-concept, which is then more vulnerable to being negatively affected by challenging situations.

Consistent with this assertion, self-concept clarity appears to mediate the relationship between stress and well-being Ritchie et al. Greater clarity may promote relationship satisfaction in a number of ways. Also, perhaps when we feel clearer about who we are, then we feel less of a threat to our self-concept and autonomy when we find ourselves having to make compromises in our close relationships. This is indeed what the research suggests. Like any other schema, the self-concept can vary in its current cognitive accessibility.

Self-awareness refers to the extent to which we are currently fixing our attention on our own self-concept. Perhaps you can remember times when your self-awareness was increased and you became self-conscious—for instance, when you were giving a presentation and you were perhaps painfully aware that everyone was looking at you, or when you did something in public that embarrassed you.

Emotions such as anxiety and embarrassment occur in large part because the self-concept becomes highly accessible, and they serve as a signal to monitor and perhaps change our behavior. You may know some people for whom the physical appearance component of the self-concept is highly accessible. They check their hair every time they see a mirror, worry whether their clothes are making them look good, and do a lot of shopping—for themselves, of course.

Other people are more focused on their social group memberships—they tend to think about things in terms of their role as Muslims or Christians, for example, or as members of the local tennis or soccer team. In addition to variation in long-term accessibility, the self and its various components may also be made temporarily more accessible through priming. When the knowledge contained in the self-schema becomes more accessible, it also becomes more likely to be used in information processing and to influence our behavior. The researchers expected that most children viewed stealing as wrong but that they would be more likely to act on this belief when they were more self-aware.

They conducted this experiment on Halloween in homes within the city of Seattle, Washington. At particular houses, children who were trick-or-treating were greeted by one of the experimenters, shown a large bowl of candy, and were told to take only one piece each. The researchers unobtrusively watched each child to see how many pieces he or she actually took.

However, the children who were in front of a mirror were significantly less likely to steal Other research has shown that being self-aware has a powerful influence on other behaviors as well. What this means is that when you are trying to stick to a diet, study harder, or engage in other difficult behaviors, you should try to focus on yourself and the importance of the goals you have set.

Social psychologists are interested in studying self-awareness because it has such an important influence on behavior. People become more likely to violate acceptable, mainstream social norms when, for example, they put on a Halloween mask or engage in other behaviors that hide their identities. For example, the members of the militant White supremacist organization the Ku Klux Klan wear white robes and hats when they meet and when they engage in their racist behavior.

Rioting occurs when civilians engage in violent public disturbances. The targets of these disturbances can be people in authority, other civilians, or property. The triggers for riots are varied, including everything from the aftermath of sporting events, to the killing of a civilian by law enforcement officers, to commodity shortages, to political oppression. Both civilians and law enforcement personnel are frequently seriously injured or killed during riots, and the damage to public property can be considerable.

Social psychologists, like many other academics, have long been interested in the forces that shape rioting behavior. One of the earliest and most influential perspectives on rioting was offered by French sociologist, Gustav Le Bon — Festinger et al. Under this view, being unidentified and thereby unaccountable has the psychological consequence of reducing inner restraints and increasing behavior that is usually repressed, such as that often seen in riots.

In support of this position, he found that participants engaged in more antisocial behavior when their identity was made anonymous by wearing Ku Klux Klan uniforms. For example, during some riots, antisocial behavior can be viewed as a normative response to injustice or oppression.

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In other words, if the group situation is associated with more prosocial norms, deindividuation can actually increase these behaviors, and therefore does not inevitably lead to antisocial conduct. Building on these findings, researchers have developed more contemporary accounts of deindividuation and rioting.

One particularly important approach has been the social identity model of deindividuation effects or SIDE model , developed by Reicher, Spears, and Postmes This perspective argues that being in a deindividuated state can actually reinforce group salience and conformity to specific group norms in the current situation. According to this model, deindividuation does not, then, lead to a loss of identity per se. Indeed, as Fogelson concluded in his analysis of rioting in the United States in the s, restraint and selectivity, as opposed to mindless and indiscriminate violence, were among the most crucial features of the riots.

Private self-consciousness refers to the tendency to introspect about our inner thoughts and feelings. Public self-consciousness , in contrast, refers to the tendency to focus on our outer public image and to be particularly aware of the extent to which we are meeting the standards set by others. However, the presence of the mirror had no effect on college students from Japan. In general, though, we all experience heightened moments of self-awareness from time to time. Sometimes when we make these comparisons, we realize that we are not currently measuring up. Simply put, the more self-aware we are in a given situation, the more pain we feel when we are not living up to our ideals.

In these cases, we may realign our current state to be closer to our ideals, or shift our ideals to be closer to our current state, both of which will help reduce our sense of dissonance. Another potential response to feelings of self-discrepancy is to try to reduce the state of self-awareness that gave rise to these feelings by focusing on other things. For example, Moskalenko and Heine found that people who are given false negative feedback about their performance on an intelligence test, which presumably lead them to feel discrepant from their internal performance standards about such tasks, subsequently focused significantly more on a video playing in a room than those given positive feedback.

There are certain situations, however, where these common dissonance-reduction strategies may not be realistic options to pursue. For instance, the person who has become addicted to an illegal substance may choose to focus on healthy eating and exercise regimes instead as a way of reducing the dissonance created by the drug use. The key findings were that those who had engaged in the self-affirmation condition and were then exposed to a threatening hypothesis showed greater tendencies than those in the non-affirming group to seek out evidence confirming their own views, and to detect illusory correlations in support of these positions.

Still another option to pursue when we feel that our current self is not matching up to our ideal self is to seek out opportunities to get closer to our ideal selves. One method of doing this can be in online environments. They also rated their avatars as more similar to their ideal selves than they themselves were. The authors of this study concluded that these online environments allow players to explore their ideal selves, freed from the constraints of the physical world. There are also emerging findings exploring the role of self-awareness and self-affirmation in relation to behaviors on social networking sites.

Gonzales and Hancock conducted an experiment showing that individuals became more self-aware after viewing and updating their Facebook profiles, and in turn reported higher self-esteem than participants assigned to an offline, control condition. The increased self-awareness that can come from Facebook activity may not always have beneficial effects, however. Perhaps sometimes we can have too much self-awareness and focus to the detriment of our abilities to understand others. Toma and Hancock investigated the role of self-affirmation in Facebook usage and found that users viewed their profiles in self-affirming ways, which enhanced their self-worth.

They were also more likely to look at their Facebook profiles after receiving threats to their self-concept, doing so in an attempt to use self-affirmation to restore their self-esteem. It seems, then, that the dynamics of self-awareness and affirmation are quite similar in our online and offline behaviors. Having reviewed some important theories and findings in relation to self-discrepancy and affirmation, we should now turn our attention to diversity. Once again, as with many other aspects of the self-concept, we find that there are important cultural differences.

For instance, Heine and Lehman tested participants from a more individualistic nation Canada and a more collectivistic one Japan in a situation where they took a personality test and then received bogus positive or negative feedback. They were then asked to rate the desirability of 10 music CDs. Subsequently, they were offered the choice of taking home either their fifth- or sixth-ranked CD, and then required to re-rate the 10 CDs. The critical finding was that the Canadians overall rated their chosen CD higher and their unchosen one lower the second time around, mirroring classic findings on dissonance reduction, whereas the Japanese participants did not.

Crucially, though, the Canadian participants who had been given positive feedback about their personalities in other words, had been given self-affirming evidence in an unrelated domain did not feel the need to pursue this dissonance reduction strategy. In contrast, the Japanese did not significantly adjust their ratings in response to either positive or negative feedback from the personality test.

Once more, these findings make sense if we consider that the pressure to avoid self-discrepant feelings will tend to be higher in individualistic cultures, where people are expected to be more cross-situationally consistent in their behaviors. Those from collectivistic cultures, however, are more accustomed to shifting their behaviors to fit the needs of the ingroup and the situation, and so are less troubled by such seeming inconsistencies.

Although the self-concept is the most important of all our schemas, and although people particularly those high in self-consciousness are aware of their self and how they are seen by others, this does not mean that people are always thinking about themselves. This may be welcome news, for example, when we find ourselves wincing over an embarrassing comment we made during a group conversation.

It may well be that no one else paid nearly as much attention to it as we did! People also often mistakenly believe that their internal states show to others more than they really do. One at a time, each student stood up in front of the others and answered a question that the researcher had written on a card e. After each round, the students who had not been asked to lie indicated which of the students they thought had actually lied in that round, and the liar was asked to estimate the number of other students who would correctly guess who had been the liar.

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