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Development of the Social Self - Essay Example

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Development of the Social Self May 22, 2011 In the age of increased individualism and the unprecedented emphasis on personal identity and achievements, the self remains one of the most important, yet least understood concepts in psychology as the core of human sense of unique individual existence…
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Download file to see previous pages The ability to develop and maintain a consistent and functional sense of the self in the increasingly superficial and anonymous interpersonal context of modern mass societies is widely believed to be one of the cornerstones of personal and social success (Forgas and Williams, 2003). According to Freud theory, the self is developed as the result of the conflict between id, ego and superego (Bakhurst and Sypnowich, 1995). Chapter 2 discusses the development of the self as the result of comparing the self-concept of who the person thinks he is and the possible selves as images of what the person dreams of or dreads becoming in the future. Within the social identity approach, the self is taken to comprise both personal and social identity. The developmental study of the social self is important because social identities of adults mobilize specific forms of group-related perception and actions. The understanding of the relation between social self-conceptions and social action becomes vitally important because social identity creates and defines the individual’s place in the society. ...
uch actions as supporting person’s dreams, strengthening positive self-image and inspiring for further improvements have profound and long-lasting impact. By helping people connect to their sense of optimism and individual vision of ideal self, people can highly motivate and energize others for better learning, development and change (Bennett and Sani, 2004). The main idea of the self discussed in Chapter 2 is that usually people tend to overestimate of what others think about them, thus, their behavior is limited and controlled by fear, lack of confidence and social stereotypes. When people speak in public, for instance, they usually feel nervous and think it is obvious for others. Though, if to explain about spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency (informed condition), people become more confident while speaking in public and felt better about their speech and appearance than those in the control and reassurance conditions. The development of the self starts at the early age when children learn to understand themselves through the perception of surrounding world and in relation to certain social groups. In the process of developing a theory of mind, children and adolescents gradually learn that people have thoughts, feelings, motives and behavior different from their own. The interpersonal skills are developed and nurtured through the relation to the family, friends, school mates, university mates, colleagues and other people (Bennett and Sani, 2004). Chapter 2 further discusses the sense of individualism and collectivism compared between industrialized Western cultures that have independent self and those in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America that have interdependent self. Such different perception of the self in these cultures creates different ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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