Two Types of Identity - Psychology

Two Types of Identity - Psychology

Two Types of Identity Personal/independent identitysee ourselves as unique individuals; independent of other people Social/collective identitysee ourselves as part of a group These are on a continuum; we see ourselves differently at different points in time.

Self-concept Your answers to the question Who am I? Global self-concept includes self-schemas, the specific beliefs that we perceive about ourselves (smart, funny, extroverted, etc.) Self-schemas are a way to organize information about ourselves. Allow us to answer questions about ourselves automatically.

Self-reference effect The idea that information about ourselves is processed and remembered more efficiently. People are egocentric. They spend a lot of time thinking about themselves and their traits. Development of Self-concept

Starts to develop in infancy with selfawareness Ages 3-12: based on skills & talents and social comparison Adolescence: becomes more abstract; perspective-taking develops Self-awareness

The first level of self to emerge in both evolutionary and developmental history. Three types of self-awareness: 1. Subjective 2. Objective 3. Symbolic Terror Management Theory

Our awareness that we will one day die creates existential terror. To combat this fear, we try to give our life meaning and be good members of society. Leads to positive self-esteem, which acts as a buffer against the anxiety of impending death. Uncomfortable aspects of selfawareness

Spotlight effect: we see ourselves as being more noticeable and important than we really are; can lead to uncomfortable feelings Illusion of transparency: We believe others can easily read our emotions. Less likely to behave immorally while selfaware. Self-consciousness

Can be private or public. Privatefocusing on mood, emotions, personal standards Publicfocusing on physical appearance, appraisals from others Social anxietytendency to become upset by social attention Self-complexity

How the self-concept is organized. Those with high degrees of self-complexity have distinct aspects of the self; their roles dont overlap much. Low self-complexity: more overlap in roles. Identity interference: tension that results when important roles interfere with each other Self-discrepancies

Actual selfwhat people often refer to as the self-concept; the attributes that you believe that you have Ideal selfattributes you wish you had Ought selfattributes that you think youre obligated to have Ideal and ought selves result from interaction with parents Real vs. Possible Selves

Associated with Hazel Markus Possible selves are what we dream of becoming, or alternately dread becoming Possible selves guide us through life & motivate us to achieve goals or avoid failures. Unrealistic optimism People are unrealistically optimistic about

their ability to change. Its called illusory optimism. Can lead people to take chances with their lives or health.

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