Essay about 6 Self Awareness

Submitted By Luke-Blair
Words: 4034
Pages: 17

Self-Knowledge: How We
Come to Understand
Ourselves

“Introspection is difficult and fallible. The difficulty is simply that of all observation of whatever kind.” — William James, 1890
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

In an early episode of the television show
Friends, the character Ross faces a dilemma. In trying to choose between Rachel who has finally shown interest in him and
Julie, his new girlfriend, Ross makes a list of the things he likes and dislikes about each woman, to try to clarify his thoughts.
• Was it a good idea to make a list to help him understand his own feelings?
• More generally, what is the nature of the self, and how do people discover it?
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

The Nature of the Self
Who are you?
How did you come to be this person you call “myself”?
The founder of American psychology,
William James (1842–1910), described the basic duality of our perception of self.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

The Nature of the Self
• The self is composed of our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, or what James (1890) called the
“known,” or, more simply, the “me.”
• The self is also the active processor of information, the “knower,” or “I.”
In modern terms, we refer to the known aspect of the self as the self concept, which is the content of the self (our knowledge about who we are), and to the knower aspect as self-awareness, which is the act of thinking about ourselves.
These two aspects of the self combine to create a coherent sense of identity:
• Your self is both a book (full of fascinating content collected over time) and the reader of that book
(who at any moment can access a specific chapter or add a new one).
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

The Nature of the Self
• Studies suggest that chimps and orangutans, and possibly dolphins, have a rudimentary self-concept.
• They realize that the image in the mirror is themselves and not another animal, and when someone alters their appearance, they recognize that they look different from how they looked before.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

The Nature of the Self
• Self-recognition develops at around age 2.
• As we grow older, this rudimentary selfconcept becomes more complex.
• Typically, a child’s self-concept is concrete, with references to clear-cut, easily observable characteristics like age, sex, neighborhood, and hobbies.

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

The Nature of the Self
• Self-recognition develops at around age 2.
• As we grow older, this rudimentary selfconcept becomes more complex.
• Typically, a child’s self-concept is concrete, with references to clear-cut, easily observable characteristics like age, sex, neighborhood, and hobbies.
• As we mature, we place less emphasis on physical characteristics and more on psychological states (our thoughts and feelings) and on how other people judge us.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Functions of the Self
Why do human adults have such a multifaceted, complex definition of self? Researchers have found that the self serves both:
• An organizational function, and
• An executive function

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Organizational Function of the Self
Self-Schemas
Mental structures that people use to organize their knowledge about themselves and that influence what they notice, think about, and remember about themselves. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Organizational Function of the Self
Self-Schemas
Mental structures that people use to organize their knowledge about themselves and that influence what they notice, think about, and remember about themselves.
Self-Reference
Effect

The tendency for people to remember information better if they relate it to themselves. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Organizational Function of the…