Self-Concept, Self-identity, and Social Identity

  • Self Concept, Self-Identity, and Social Identity
  • Self-concept is how someone perceives/evaluates themselves, aka self-awareness.
    • Development of self-concept has 2 parts: first, an existential self and then a categorical
      • Existential self is most basic part of self-concept, the sense of being separate and distinct from others. Awareness that the self is constant throughout life.
      • Categorical self comes once baby realizes they’re separate – becoming aware that even though we’re separate, we also exist in the world with others. And each of those entities have properties.
        • age and gender are first babies learn, then skills and size. Then compare ourselves with others – traits, comparisons, careers.
      • Carl Rogers (Humanistic Theory), believed self-concept had 3 different components.
        • Self-image: what we believe we are
        • Self-esteem: how much value we place on ourselves
        • Ideal-self: what we aspire to be
        • When the ideal self and real self are similar, the result is a positive self-concept. When the ideal self does not match the real self, the result is incongruity.
      • We can use the social identity theory – 2 parts: personal identity and social identity
        • All humans categorize ourselves and others without really realizing it, ex. race/job/etc
          • If we assign categories to others, we make pre-judgements about them.
        • Next is identification. When we adopt identity of group, we see us as belonging – behaving and acting like the category we belong to, ex. a student. Our self-esteem starts to become bound with this group identification and sense of belonging.
        • Final step is social comparison – how we comparing ourselves with other groups, to maintain our self-esteem. Critical to understanding of prejudice, because once two groups develop as rivals, we compete to maintain self-esteem.
  • Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy, and Locus of Control
    • Self-esteem is the respect and regard one has for oneself
    • Self-efficacy – belief in one’s abilities to succeed in a particular situation. Developed by Bandora due to his dissatisfaction with idea of self-esteem.
      • People with strong self-efficacy recover quickly from setbacks, have strong interest, strong sense of commitment, and enjoy challenging tasks (RISE)
      • People with weak self-efficacy focus on personal failures, avoid challenging tasks, quickly lose confidence in personal abilities, and believe they lack the ability to handle difficult tasks and situations (FALL)
    • Look at these sources to determine if person has strong/weak sense of self-efficacy:
      • Mastery of experience – strengthens self-efficacy
      • Social modeling – seeing people like ourselves complete the same task
      • Social persuasion – when someone says something positive to you, helps overcome self-doubt
      • Psychological responses – learning how to minimize stress and control mood in difficult situations can improve self-efficacy
    • A person with low self-esteem can have high self-efficacy, and vice versa. Ex. a perfectionist can have low self-esteem but still see themselves as capable of doing tasks.
    • Locus of control – the extent to which people perceive they have control over events in their lives.
      • Internal – when person believes he or she can influence events/outcomes. Results come primarily from their own actions.
      • External – attribute events to environmental events/causes.
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