• Self = our impressions + thoughts + feelings
• SCHEMA: A set of beliefs and feelings about
something. Examples include stereotypes,
prejudices and generalizations.
• Parts of the Self: Physical, Social, and Personal.
• Activity: Now take out a piece of paper and
fold it into 4 sections. Write your name in one
• Physical Self: Ones’ psychological sense of one’s
physical being (ex. height, weight, hair color, race, and
• How is it linked to self-esteem?
• Our adjustment to traits that are mostly permanent,
such as height, sex & race, is closely linked to self-
• However, other traits such as weight, fitness and hair
style can be modified.
• What are your “Physical Self” traits?
• Social Self: The social roles one plays— student,
worker, husband, mother, citizen, leader, and etc.
• Roles and masks are adaptive responses to the
• However, when our entire lives are played behind
masks, it may be difficult to discover true inner
• What are some of the social roles you play?
• Personal Self: One’s private, continuous sense
of being oneself in the world. Personal Self
includes values, ethics, your name, self-
concept, self-esteem and the ideal-self
• Ethics: Standards for behavior. A system of
beliefs from which one derives standards for
• What are some of your values and ethics?
• Now write your name or a name you identify
with in the last section of your paper.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
• Names can influence many things…such as
physical attractiveness and assumptions
people may place on us.
• Nicknames can reflect our attitudes towards
ourselves…(ex. Robert versus Bob versus
• Self-Concept: Perception of oneself including one’s
traits and an evaluation of those traits.
• The self-concept includes one’s self-esteem and one’s
• Self-Esteem: Self-approval.
• One’s self-respect or favorable opinion of oneself.
• Self-esteem is neither fixed nor unchangeable.
• Though relatively stable over time, self-esteem can
fluctuate, for better or worse.
• Ideal self: One’s perception of what one “ought” to be
and do. Also called the self-ideal.
• Identity Achievement: individuals who have
resolved an identity crisis and committed to a
relatively stable set of beliefs or a course of
• Identity Foreclosure: individuals who have
adopted a commitment to a set of beliefs or a
course of action without undergoing an identity
• Often, they have adopted the views of their
parents without seriously questioning them.
• Identity Moratorium: individuals who are in
the throes of an identity crisis—an intense
examination of alternatives.
• Who feels that they are either in this status or
have been in this status?
• Identity Diffusion: individuals who have
neither arrived at a commitment as to who
they are and what they stand for nor
experienced a crisis.
DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY
• Something to reflect on:
• Researchers have found that identity
formation is often more complicated for
adolescents from ethnic minority groups.
These adolescents may be faced with two sets
of cultural values: those of their ethnic group
and those of the dominant culture.
Perception of Others
• Social Perception: The process by which we form
understandings of others in our social environment,
based on observations of how others act and
information we receive.
• Primacy Effect: The tendency to evaluate others in
terms of first impressions.
• Recency Effect: The tendency to evaluate others in
terms of the most recent impression.
• Body language is an important contributor to forming
person schemas and first impressions. Examples: eye
contact patterns, body posture, touching, gazing and
• Body language does vary by culture. The same gesture
may have a different meaning in one culture than it does
in another. For example, people in Bulgaria shake their
heads up and down to signal “no”.
Using Body Language
• Be aware of what other people are telling you
with their body language.
• Pay attention to your own body language as a
way of helping to make the desired impressions
on other people.
• Pay attention to your own body language as a
way of learning about yourself.
• Prejudice: The belief that a person or group,
on the basis of assumed racial ethnic, sexual,
or other features will possess negative
characteristics or perform inadequately.
• Types of prejudice include sexism, racism,
classism and ageism.
Discrimination and Stereotypes
• Discrimination: The denial of privileges to a
person or group on the basis of prejudice
• Stereotypes: Fixed, conventional ideas about a
group that can lead us to process information
about members of the group in a biased
Sources of Prejudice and Discrimination
• Dissimilarity: tend to like people who share our attitudes and we
tend to assume that people of different races have different
• Social Conflict: People of different races and religions often
compete for jobs, giving rise to feelings of prejudice.
• Social Learning: Children often acquire some of their attitudes by
observing other people, especially their parents.
• Information Processing: Prejudices serve as cognitive schemes,
filters through which people see the social world. It is easier to
attend to and remember instances of behavior that fit with our
• Social Categorization: People tend to divide their social world into
“us” and “them.” People tend to view others in their group more
favorably than those out of their group.
• Attribution Process: The process by which people
draw conclusions about the factors that influence
• Dispositional Attribution: Ascribe a person’s
behavior to internal factors, such as personality traits
and free will.
• Situational Attributions: Attribute a person’s
actions to external factors, such as the social pressure
found in a situation.
• Fundamental Attribution Error: the tendency to assume
that others act on the basis of choice or will, even when
there is evidence suggestive of the importance of their
• Actor-Observer Effect: The tendency to attribute our
own behavior to external, situational factors but to
attribute the behavior of others to internal,
dispositional factors such as choice or will.
• Self-Serving Bias: The tendency to view one’s successes
as stemming from internal factors and one’s failures as
stemming from external factors.
3 types of schema related to identity:
ROLE SCHEMA: a schema about how people in certain roles (e.g., boss, wife, teacher) are expected to behave.
PERSON SCHEMA: a schema about how a particular individual is expected to behave.
SELF-SCHEMA: the set of beliefs, feelings and generalizations we have about ourselves
Tie in the activity we did before on masks and the commonalities and differences between our mask that we show the world and what’s behind the mask (the true self as we know it).
Social factors can help in our development of self but can also create a barrier to us discovering who we really are since we often try to live our lives according to what we feel others expect.
Research has found that women with names such as Jennifer, Kathy and Christine are rated as significantly more attractive than Gertrude, Ethel, and Harriet.
Do you have any names that you associate with certain traits, behaviors, personalities?
Self esteem can be situational depending on your confidence and competence in various situations.
Ideal self is what was aspire to be, but at times it can hold us back and set us up for failure especially when it is unattainable and unrealistic.
INTRO: We talked about identity crisis last week. Identity crisis was coined by Erikson. He believed that a crisis of self-identity is a Normal part of development and be a growth experience that leads to the formation of clear and consistent beliefs and direction in life or the life role. Here are 4 identity statuses that people fall into.
Identity Achievement – ex. Pre-med vs. psychology (going against expectations) , church.
Identity foreclosure – ex. “everybody’s doing it” mentality; closed to new experiences; mostly found in isolated sub-cultures; cults
Identity moratorium – usually around career choices, being sexually active, whether to have a child, religious decisions, or political party affiliations. Main point: Carefully evaluate their values, attitudes, feelings, and possibilities that are open to them.
Identity diffusion –have not fashioned a stable set of beliefs or course of action and are not attempting to do so. Acting on a whim and on the suggestions of others.
Have any of you been wrong about someone based on first impressions?
Body language - It provides important cues about a person’s thoughts, attitudes, and feelings.
Fundamental attribution error – people focus on the behavior of others rather than on the circumstances surrounding their behavior. Ex. Pizza arriving cold and blaming the pizza guy rather than traffic, We tend to infer traits from the behavior.
Actor-Observer effect – See tend to see others as will full actors but we see ourselves as victims of circumstances. Example: conflicts between nations.