Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

Learning about the Self


the collection of beliefs we hold about ourselves


the value one places on oneself


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.


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


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.


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


the number of dimensions that people use to think about themselves


specific expectations about our abilities to accomplish certain tasks.


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


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


The need to hold a positive view of oneself

positive illusions

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


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.


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


conveying positive information about oneself to others.


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


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

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording