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Self - Essay Example

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Concept of the Self Introduction The concept of the ‘self’ is a very important part of human consciousness. People identify with themselves through a multifaceted idea of who they are which they call their ‘self’ (Myers & Spencer, 2006). This self includes their evaluations and assessments about their abilities, feelings, attitudes and choices…
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Download file to see previous pages... This is demonstrated in many major theories of development during the stage of adolescence, including Freud’s psycho-analytic theory of personality development, and Erikson’s eight stage theory of development. The self-concept is closely associated with the person’s self-efficacy, self esteem and self awareness, but is distinct from them in the way it is understood in theory and the manner in which it is used by people. Understanding Self-concept The human self concept draws information from a number of sources, including internal assessments, external feedback, and personal and social expectations. Some theorists believe that there is more than one self that people identify with. Each individual has an image of their ‘actual self’ which is a generalized understanding of who they actually are (Myers & Spencer, 2006). Besides the ‘actual self’, people can have any number of possible selves, which are associated with different turns that their lives may take. Typically, individuals in their adolescence and youth have more possible selves then individuals older or younger, since they are attempting to explore multiple personal and professional options. An individual is also likely to have an ‘ideal self’ (Leary & Tangney, 2011). The ideal self is an embodiment of all that the individual wishes they were, but are not. Some researcher believe that the gap between the actual self and the ideal self is related inversely to the person’s self esteem and self image so that the lesser the gap, the better the person is likely to feel about themselves. The Self and Emotions Self concept is not based solely on facts. Often, an individual’s perceptions of themselves are very emotional, and may be inaccurate. While some people are unable to perceive their flaws, others may be unable to perceive their strengths. Emotions – although most useful when coping with significant events, can occur even in response to thoughts (Tracy, Robins & Tangney, 2007). Thus, people are able to think about themselves and how they would react to different situations. They are also able to think of what feedback these actions of theirs would provide, and thus, they are able to feel an emotional response to a situation without it actually occurring. This means that people are likely to receive emotional feedback for events disproportionate to the actual number of such events they experience. When the person has an experience (or constructs one) that provides them with positive feedback, they are likely to experience positive emotions and create positive self appraisals; while an event that provides negative feedback would elicit negative emotions and would thus also lead to negative self assessment (Tracy, Robins & Tangney, 2007). Self esteem is an appraisal of one’s own worth, and is constructed using feedback from activities and events as well as from significant others (Tracy, Robins & Tangney, 2007). Like the self concept, it relies on the feedback that the individual receives and on personal evaluations of one’s own actions. But while the self concept is a generalization of who the individual is, self esteem is a generalized evaluation of what one’s worth is. People often also use information from social comparisons and from their social identity to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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