For ages, psychologists have been studying the self. Anytime we think about who we are, we engage in a very special thought process. After all, who knows us better than ourselves?
This course serves as a quick introduction to the psychology of the self. You'll learn four major components about this fascinating field of study:
In this series of lectures, you'll learn from a trained social psychologist and come to understand the essentials of the psychology of self. With quiz questions that reinforce your learning and examples that connect the research to your own life, this course is designed to help you quickly master this information. So enroll now and start learning about this fascinating field of social psychology!
**Please note that this is one part of the full "Learn Social Psychology" course. If you want to learn about the psychology of the self, and you're not ready to take the plunge for the full social psychology course, this is a great place to start!
In this quick introductory video, we will cover the basics of the self, the topics psychologists consider, and why these things are worth knowing about.
Before we get started talking about psychological research on "The Self," let's do a quick exercise so you can know what it's like to think deeply about yourself.
We'll discuss what the previous exercise was all about and then launch into an understanding of the "self-concept."
The "self-concept" is really just a schema we have about ourselves. It includes the various bits of self-knowledge that we've come to understand. In this lesson, we talk about what a self-concept can be and how a self-concept originates over one's early development.
In addition to having a self-concept, people can be more or less "clear" about that self-concept. The research has tied these perceptions to a number of outcomes, including degree of self-esteem.
In this lesson, we go further in understanding the self-concept by looking at some ways in which people come to know information about themselves. How do our self-concepts come to contain all of that information? We'll look specifically at the role of introspection, self-perception, and social comparison.
No doubt you've heard of "self-esteem" before. In this lesson, after quickly defining how psychologists think about self-esteem, I'll let you in on two key attributes of a person's self-esteem that you may not have considered before. The first of these is the stability of self-esteem, and the other is the contingencies (or bases) of self-esteem. Each of these is important to understand when it comes to knowing how people react to negative things that happen in their lives.
Usually people talk about self-esteem as if it's one thing. In truth, a lot of psychologists have started to look at different forms of self-esteem. In this lecture we consider the difference between "self-liking" and "self-competence," and we briefly consider the research on "self-compassion."
A person can say that he has high self-esteem but at a more implicit, "subconscious" level, he might have lower self-esteem than he expressed. And he might not even know it consciously! In this video, I explain the notion of implicit self-esteem, how psychologists can measure it, and how something as simple as how much someone likes her name can signal implicit self-esteem.
Although it would be great if people always looked objectively for information about themselves, people tend to be motivated by a need to maintain high self-esteem. We'll talk about a handful of behaviors that people engage in so that they keep a positive self-view: downward social comparisons, self-serving attributions, self-handicapping, basking in reflected glory, and outgroup derogation. We'll also talk about self-verification which can happen when someone with low self-esteem really just wants to confirm his or her pre-existing negative self-view (rather than hear good things about him/herself).
My own personal experience may shed light on "Basking in Reflected Glory" and show you just how pervasive it is. What's an experience from your own life in which you felt that you were BIRGing?
In this quick video, I'll give you another example of "self-handicapping," and once you hear it, you'll start seeing instances of it everywhere.
I am a social psychologist. My expertise is in the domain of attitudes and persuasion, but I have extensive experience with all corners of the social psychology world. The research in this field is so interesting that I can't help but want to share it! I look forward to the chance to share the world of social psychology with you.