Social Psychology: The Self

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Learning about the Self

self-concept

the collection of beliefs we hold about ourselves

self-esteem

the value one places on oneself

socialization

how a person acquires the rules, standards, and values of his or her family, group, and culture

reflected appraisals

self-evaluation based on the perceptions and evaluations of others.

self-perception theory

idea that people sometimes infer their attitudes from their overt behavior, rather than from their own internal state.

social comparison

the act of comparing one's abilities, opinions, or emotions with those of another person or persons

social identity

the part of an individual's self-concept that derives from his or her membership in a social group.

bicultural competence

working knowledge and appreciation of two cultures.

independent self

the sense of oneself as bounded, unitary, and separate from the social context.

interdependent self

the sense of self as flexible, variable, and connected to the social context.

independent self

the sense of self as bounded, unique, and independent.

self-schemas

how one thinks about one's personal qualities in aparticular life domain

possible selves

schemas that people hold concerning what they may or could become in the future

self-discrepancies

discrepancies between how we perceive ourselves and how we would ideally like to be or believe others think we should be

ideal self

the personal attributes one would like to have

ought self

the personal attributes one believes on should possess.

self-regulation

the ways people control and direct their own actions.

working self-concept

those aspects of the self-concept that are salient in a particular situation.

stable self-concept

more general view of one's abilities, motives, and performance

self-complexity

the number of dimensions that people use to think about themselves

self-efficacy

specific expectations about our abilities to accomplish certain tasks.

self-awarness

experiencing oneself as an object of one's own attention.

cybernetic theory of self-regulation

people compare their behavior to a standard, decide that it matches the standard or does not, and continue to adjust their behavior until a match is made or they give up.

public self-consciousness

a tendency to be concerned with how one appears to others

private self-consciousness

a tendency to focus on the internal self

self-verification

seeking out and interpreting situations that confirm one's self-concept. (this is who I am)

self-enhancement

The need to hold a positive view of oneself

positive illusions

mild, falsely positive self-enhancing perceptions of one's personal qualities.

self-affirmation

people cope with specific threats to their self-worth by reaffirming unrelated aspects of themselves. (Claude Steele)

Self-evaluation Maintenance theory

reacting to the success of others with pride (basking in reflective glory) or discontent (suffering by comparison) and consequent efforts to restore a sense of self

comparison effect

when another person outperforms us on a behavior that is relevant to our self definition, the greater the threat to our self evaluation

reflection effect

when another person outperforms us on a behavior that is not relevant to our self definition, we feel pride in their success.

social comparison theory

idea that people are driven to evaluate themselves through comparisons with other people.

downward social comparisons

comparing one's traits or abilities with someone who is worse off than oneself

upward social comparisons

comparing one's traits or abilities with someone who is better off than oneself.

related-attributes similarity

similarity to another person on attributes related to a target attribute, such as background or preparation.

self-presentation

deliberate efforts to act in ways that create a particular impression of the self.

self-promotion

conveying positive information about oneself to others.

ingratiation

flattering or doing favors for a person to get that person to like you or to do things for you

self-handicapping

engaging in actions that provide obstacles to success, so that failure can later be attributed to these obstacles.

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