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The Self Paper

1589 words - 7 pages

The Self Paper


May 19, 2014

The Self Paper

According to Greenwald, Banaji, Rudman, Farnham, Nosek, and Mellott (2002), the concept of self is defined as the association of self with one or more characteristic concepts. The concept of self is complex and made up of many different parts that contribute to the whole meaning, such as the conceptual and operational parts (Fiske, 2010). The conceptual part includes the body, inner self, interpersonal self, and collective self (Fiske, 2010). The operational part includes emotions that affect self-esteem, and behavior that affects self-presentation (Fiske, 2010). Self-concept is attained through different ways, including ...view middle of the document...

In an operational focus, self-concept is a dimension a person rates himself (Fiske, 2010). Swann, Chang-Schneider, and McClarty (2007) note that self-concepts are emotional and cognitive. Thoughts of how a person is perceived by society can cripple self-concept more than a person’s inner thoughts about himself. Core social motives, such as understanding, enhancing, and belonging, help illuminate how self is both cognitive and self-enhancing (Fiske, 2010).
Development of Self-Concept
There are four sources of self-knowledge that help people develop self-concept: self-perception and introspection (isolated self-concept) and social comparison and social feedback (interrelated self-concept) (Fiske, 2010). Fiske observes that inner thoughts and feelings rather than behavior are how most people tend to learn about who they are introspectively. However, when looking at others, people sum them up by their behavior.
Self-schemas affect behavior because people tend to be more complex about their own behavior versus that of others. For example, Cindy says Robin eats dessert because she simply likes a small treat. However, Cindy’s personal observation of sweets would be unforgiving, mixed with two different ideas of being obsessed but only sometimes.
The interrelated self-concept or social comparison theory is the idea of humans comparing themselves against each other to see what is their progress (Fiske, 2010). For example, Sam’s scores in basketball are the best he has ever had but John scored one point higher and Sam no longer feels happy. Fiske notes downward comparisons, or comparing one self with someone worse than him, take place so people will not feel as badly. Comparisons and compliments from others add to this.
Self-concept includes cultural differences that can hinder a person’s expressions. For example, if a person is accustom to greeting strangers with a kiss on the lips in Rome but not in Spain, it could damage his freedom of expression. Fiske notes that Americans belong to more groups but their identity with that group is not as strong as say someone in the Western world, like Japan. In Japan, the culture can be more interdependent; therefore it strengthens the group identity.
Self and Emotion

Self and emotion includes the following theories: Self-discrepancy, self-evaluation, and affective forecasting (Fiske, 2010). Self-discrepancy theory includes the actual self, ought self, and ideal self along with how people use self-knowledge to fit into social life (Fiske, 2010). The actual self is who a person is at the moment. The ought self is who a person feels they should be. And the ideal self is who a person would like to be and emphasizes “promotion focus” or positive rewards from obtaining happiness (Fiske, 2010). Fiske mentions people hardly attain all of their yearnings to do this or become that and it leads to self-discrepancy. These feelings of failure can trigger negative emotions...

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