INTRODUCTION: THE SELF The phrase ???the self??? often means more than this, however.
In psychology it is often used for that set of attributes that a person attaches to himself or herself most firmly, the attributes that the person finds it difficult or impossible to imagine himself or herself without. The term ???identity??? is also used in this sense. Typically, one??™s gender is a part of one??™s self or one??™s identity; one??™s profession or nationality may or may not be. In philosophy, the self is the agent, the knower and the ultimate locus of personal identity. If the thought of future reward or punishments is to encourage or deter me from some course of action, I must be thinking of the person rewarded as me, as myself, as the same person who is now going to endure the hardship of righteousness or pass up the enjoyments of sin in favor of this ultimate reward. There are several objectives that we have studied in this chapter which are:i. To discuss main issue in the context of the self.ii.
To identify whether there is significant between Self Presentation, Self Knowledge, Thinking about Self, Self-esteem, Social Comparison and The Self as Target Prejudice.We will also do a review on previous studies done to grasp a better understanding of every topic which we will discuss in this chapter. The studies that we will discuss relates to the society such as Facebook which fills a variety of functions, including presentation of self to ???friends??? (through photos and text profiles) and the ability to control communicative access.
Instant messaging, which is also highly popular with the same cohort, affords similar opportunities for self-presentation and manipulating social contact through profiles, away messages, buddy lists, and blocking. We are also interested to highlight on the fact that advice for a happier life is found in so-called ???self-help books??™, which are widely sold in modern countries these days. These books popularize insights from psychological science and draw in particular on the newly developing ???positive psychology??™. Common themes are: personal growth, personal relations, coping with stress and identity. There is a lot of skepticism about these self-help books. Some claim that they provide false hope or even do harm. Yet there are also reasons to expect positive effects from reading such books. One reason is that the messages fit fairly well with observed conditions for happiness and another reason is that such books may encourage active coping.
There is also evidence for the effectiveness of bibliotherapy in the treatment of psychological disorders. The positive and negative consequences of self-help are a neglected subject in academic psychology. This is regrettable; because self help books may be the most important??”although not the most reliable??”channel through which psychological insights find their way to the general audience. Malaysian society is experiencing immense social and cultural changes. These changes include the emergence of gay culture in which people identify and present themselves as having a gay identity and lifestyle. However, the rapid diffusion of gay culture into Malaysian society poses various cultural conflicts with the mainstream culture. For many gay individuals, the conflict between mainstream culture norms and gay culture norms is often centered in the institution of the family.
This is particularly relevant in the context of Chinese Malaysian gay men who are expected to perform the roles of a son as defined by the Confucian ethic of filial piety while maintaining their gay identities and lifestyles. The following discussion, we will also put forward intriguing yet interesting topics to be discussed which relates to the gender discrimination, social comparison i.e., website which depicts that men are better than women and last but not least, self prejudice among adolescence and also religion. In the first three aspects of the self, we will first look on the Self-presentation, Self- knowledge and Thinking about Self as to understand this factor in influencing for person??™s life every day. Meanwhile in the last three aspects of the self, we will further look on the Self-Esteem, Social Comparison and The Self as target Prejudice as to further explore in-depth to understand The Self in the social community.
I. Self PresentationSelf-presentation is defined as the attempt to control self-relevant images before real or imagined others Schlenker, Barry R (1982). In the book written by Goffman (1959) stated that the social actor has the ability to choose his stage and props, as well as the costume he would put on in front of a specific audience. The actors main goal is to keep his coherence, and adjust to the different settings offered him. There are various self presentational strategies including self promotion, ingratiation and agreeing to others??™ preference. Self-promotion defined as attempting to present ourselves to others as having positive attributes. When you??™re conscious of what your actions really communicate, you communicate the message you want.
When you??™re deliberately shaping this, it is self-promotion and marketing. When your actions consist of helping others, actively promoting them instead of yourself, and generally providing the kind of value that makes your friends or followers glad they know you, you??™re engaged in the best kind of self-promotion possible, the kind that doesn??™t look like self-promotion. For example, we want to let people know that we are intelligent person.
First thing that we will do, emphasize our intelligence- “credentials”–grades obtained, awards won, and degrees sought. People will believe after we talk it with some relevant thing that shows us smart person. To be accepted in crowd of people, we must know how to promote ourselves either in real life or in cyber life. Ingratiation is a strategic attempt to get someone to like you in order to obtain compliance with a request (Wikipedia). According to Jones who is an influential social psychologist, ingratiation under self-presentation is to present ones own attributes in a manner that the target would approve and like.
The level of status between the ingratiator and target are important. ???Relatively high status individuals were more modest when induced to become ingratiating, while relatively low status individuals were more self-enhancing but only in predictable respects???. The research for self-verification perspective suggest that negotiation occurs with others to ensure they agree with our self claims Swann (2005). For example, while trading self-relevant information with a potential roommate, you might stress the student part of your self-concept, emphasize your good study habits and pride in your goods grades, and underplay your fun qualities. The potential roommate might even note that you not interested to having fun at college.
Through this sort of self-presentation exchange process where you may ???buy??™ their self-assessment as a party type, and it helps you to ???sell??™ your own self-assessment as an excellent student. Based on revelation of research that stated if given a choice, we prefer to be with other people who verify our views about ourselves rather than with those who fail to verify our dearly held self-views even if they are not flattering Chen, Chen, & Shaw (2004). We can also choose to create a favorable self-presentation by conveying our positive regard for others. We like to feel that others respect us, and we appreciate those who convey it to us Tyler & Blader (2000). The self-presentation will be explained further in the case study (Baron, 2007) entitled Presentation of Self and Social Manipulation in Facebook and Instant Message. This study will focus on how the people which actively in Facebook and Instant Message will present themselves. Facebook fills a variety of functions, including presentation of self to ???friends??? (through photos and text profiles) and the ability to control communicative access. Instant messaging, which is also highly popular with the same cohort, affords similar opportunities for self-presentation and manipulating social contact through profiles, away messages, buddy lists, and blocking.
Social networking has positive and negative side for every level of ages. It has paved the way for easier communication to your friends, family, or colleagues. One example is that instead of meeting in a certain place, you and your classmates could discuss a school activity by having a conference in a certain site that you are all members of, thus saving you time and effort. While social networking sites have become places for establishing connections and meeting friends, they have also become likely places for identity theft and fraud. As you have to provide certain information such as your e-mail address, name, and location, others use this information and pretend to be you, especially when they are into illegal activities.Furthermore, someone pretending to be somebody else can make you believe that he or she is up to some business offer, ask to meet up with you, and take your money. It has also become easier for someone to stalk you and harass you online.
II. Self KnowledgeSelf-knowledge is a term used in psychology to describe the information that an individual draws upon when finding an answer to the question “What am I like” while seeking to develop the answer to this question, self-knowledge requires ongoing self-awareness and self-consciousness (which is not to be confused with consciousness.) Now, young infants and even animals will display some of the traits self-awareness and agency/contingency, yet not be classified as also having self-consciousness. At some greater level of cognition, however, a self-conscious component emerges in addition to an increased self-awareness component, and then it becomes possible to ask “What am I like”, and to answer with self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is a component of the self, or more accurately, the self-concept. It is the knowledge of ones self and ones properties and the desire to seek such knowledge that guide the development of the self concept. Self-knowledge informs us of our mental representations of ourselves, which contain attributes that we uniquely pair with ourselves, and theories on whether these attributes are stable, or dynamic. One important rnethod that people have assumed is useful for learning about the self is to engage in introspection-to privately think about who we are.
Another attempt to learn about ourselves involves taking an observer perspective on our own past. When we analyze our own actions, we tend to attribute our behavior to more situational (external) causes, whereas when we observe others, we tend to attribute the same behavior to more dispositional or trait terms. Previous research under introspection stated that why we acted as we did Nisbett & Wilson (1977), but if behavior really driven by our feelings, it can mislead our quest of self-knowledge. Because we often genuinely don??™t know why we feel or act in a particular way, generating reasons could cause us to arrive at false conclusion. Wilson and Kraft (1993) illustrated this process in a series of studies concerning introspection on topics ranging from ???why I feel as I do about my romantic partner??? to ???why I like one type of jam over another.
??? After introspecting about the reasons for the feelings, temporarily people changed their attitudes as to match their stated reasons. Gilbert and Wilson (2000) stated that if we think something terrible happen and try to predict how we would feel one year after the event, it lead us in focusing only the awfulness then neglect all other factors that will contribute the happiness level as the year progress. It means that people predict that they would feel much worse that they actually would when the future arrives. However, all these theories not probably proved that introspection is inevitably misleading. Because when the behavior in question is actually based on a conscious decision-making process and is not based on unconscious emotional factors that thinking about those reasons might well lead to accurate self-judgments. According to Pronin and Ross (2006), if we take an observer??™s perspective on ourselves, we will be more likely to characterize ourselves in dispositional or trait terms. This standpoint, Pronin and Ross (2006) illustrated the effects of different perspectives by employing different types of acting techniques which is method-acting and standard-acting. Those who performed with the method-actor technique were more actor-like and saw themselves in terms of few consistent traits, whereas those who played themselves from a more ???observer-acting??™ perspective saw themselves in consistent trait terms.
Based on the previous research (Bergsma, 28 February 2007) on ???Do Self-Help Books help??? mentioned that some evidence that reading problem-focused self-help books tends to be helpful for people with specific problems. As yet there is no hard evidence for the effectiveness of reading growth-oriented books. Starker (1989) mentions four pragmatic factors that explain the success of the self-help books which are cost, accessibility, privacy and excitement.
Self-help books also can be divided several categories; first category is personal growth that is about the improvement of the self. The second category is personal relations that focuses on intimate relationship and has an overlap with the category Communication. The third category is coping with stress which it help readers to develop an outlook at the world that minimizes stress. The fourth category is identity ,???Who am I??? The relationship between the client and the therapist is an important factor in explaining the success of therapy (Wampold, 2001), and this element is obviously missing in self-help. The self-help books functions in a way that is similar to travel guides where most the reader will not follow the book page by page.Ethical issue in self-knowledge is related to the unstable emotion, spiritual and behavior.
Depression under stress always happen either in women or men life that brought many cases of suicide. In Korea, many cases of suicide happen among celebrity where they take short cut to ease their depression by kill themselves. Most of them have failed in business or career and love. They do not want to inconvenience families, couples and friends on the problems they face. In addressing these issues, they will find entertainment by drinking alcohol. But all this is only temporary; they take the easy way out is suicide by hanging himself. III.
Personal versus Social IdentityThe personal versus-social identity continuum are signifies the two distinct that we can categorize ourselves. At the personal level, we can be thought of as a unique individual, whereas at the social identity level, we think of the self as a member of a group. Personal identity self-description can be thought of as an intra-group comparison with other individuals who share our group membership.
At the social identity and of the continuum, perceiving ourselves as members of a group means we emphasize what we share with other group members. People do describe themselves differently depending on whether the question they are asked implies situational specificity or not. Our tendency to see ourselves differentially depending on what relationship with others we consider and according to the context increases with age (Bryne & Shavelson, 1996)..
Gender is a powerful social category that is likely to be activated a great deal of the time. This means it can influence perceptions of the self and our responses to others with some frequency. Under other treatment, Taijfel (1978) stated that if we expect that others will reject us because of some aspect of ourselves, there are a few response options available to us. For some aspects of ourselves, we can attempt to hide them from disapproving others. The rejection can be explained by publicly communicate that we value something different that those who might judge us negatively because of it.
The self over time where the researchers found that people who feel close in time to some self-failure, view their current self less positively than those who are able to see that same failure as far in the distant past. Self control is foregoing short-term rewards and instead waiting for long term rewards. The results of several studies have revealed that after people think about why they engage in a task versus how they physically accomplish that same task, people stay engaged in difficult tasks longer, are willing to wait longer for a reward, have stronger behavioral intentions to withstand the costs required to obtain a valued benefit, and evaluate inconsistent temptation negatively.Previous study stated that the emergence and spread of gay culture in Malaysia as in most Asian countries is associated with the multiple influences and effects of globalization, industrialization, and urbanization, in which these developing countries in Asia reshaping their lifestyle and economy in order to fit in with the Western capitalism. However, in these studies there has been lack of research and literature on this topic. Homosexuality is an ethical issue that arise many years ago that become headline in newspaper where the lesbian who undercover as man become caught due to married her female partner.
This identity sometimes it influenced by social group that we joined and without we realize the group led us to create wrongly personality. IV. Self-esteemSelf-esteem has often been related to the perception that we have upon ourselves. Social psychologist has conceptualized self-esteem as the degree to which we perceive ourselves positively or negatively; our overall attitude towards ourselves. The measurement of self esteem was first introduced Rosenberg (1965).
The general trait self evaluation using the ten items scale are rather straightforward where people are asked to provide their own explicit attitudes towards themselves. Self esteem is important in our lives and is very responsive to life events. When people achieve important goals, their self esteem increase but if they fail to do so, it can temporarily harm the self esteem. There are many ways that can affect people??™s self esteem in daily lives and for those with low self esteem will only suffers further declines if they are given negative feedback.
To attempt of measuring self-esteem, Dijksterhuis (2004) used the logic of classical conditioning procedures to test whether implicit self esteem can be improved without the participants??™ conscious awareness. The participants were repeatedly paired with the representation of self with positive trait terms. These were done subliminally where the traits were too quick for participants to consciously recognize them. The results of the participants??™ self esteem were found significantly higher to those in a control group where who were not exposed to such self positive trait pairing. This subliminal conditioning also prevented participants from suffering self-esteem reduction when they later given negative feedback about their intelligence. But a question that lingers in social psychologist mind; is high self-esteem always beneficial When we speak of low self-esteem it is stereotype that they have a habit of bringing others down so they can feel better about themselves.
And people with low self-esteem are generally associated to many social ills including drug abuse, poor school performance, depression and various forms of violence. On the contrary of those assumptions, there has been strong evidence that high self-esteem is associated with bullying, narcissism, exhibitionism, self-aggrandizing and interpersonal aggression (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger & Vohs, 2003). If high self-esteem is supposed to make ourselves see ourselves in the positive way then why does this phenomena happens It is said that high self-esteem implies superiority to others; that view of the self may need to be defended with some frequency. This indicates that the person will do what it takes to protects his/her self esteem.
But doesn??™t that indicate low self-esteem Seery, Blascovich, Weisbuch & Vick, 2004) stated that when unstable high self-esteem people experiencing failure, their underlying self doubt is reflected in physiological responses that indicative of threat. But does self-esteem differ between men and women William and Best (1990) conducted a fourteen nation study of self esteem between men and women. It was found that in countries where women are expected to be wives and mother at home has lower self esteem compare to men.
But in nations where women are given equal opportunities to men, their self esteem is equivalent to the men. In conclusion of the study, it is found that women tend to have a lower self esteem when they face with gender discrimination. Self esteem is one of the main elements that affect us in our lives whether in our daily lives or professionally. One of the examples I can relate to is how low self esteem can affect an individual in his/her professional lives. This can be seen in many new comer teachers going into the teaching field for the first time. The lack of experience and exposure can make them have low self esteem of their capabilities of teaching which can result of them having a teaching anxiety. Newcomers??™ teachers tend to be seen as someone who is not capable of teaching because they fear that they are not good enough at the start.
Having a low self esteem in the professional area doesn??™t mean that a person is not capable of doing the job but it affects how the person is delivering the job as there is not much confidence to self at the affected moment.V. Social Comparison What is Social Comparison Social comparison is a habit that we tend to do ever almost on daily in our lives. We compare ourselves to others either to make ourselves feel better or to improve ourselves. Kahneman & Miller (1986) stated that all human judgment is relative to some comparison standard. So to some extent, how we see or feel about ourselves depend on the standard of comparison we use. There are two types of social comparison in our society, the downward social comparison ??“ where we compare ourselves to another who does less than or inferior to us and the upward social comparison ??“ where we compare ourselves to another who does better than or superior to us.
According to Festinger??™s (1954) social comparison theory, people compare themselves to others because for many domains and attributes; there is no objective yardstick to evaluate them against, and other people are therefore highly informative. In other words, there is no set reason of why we compare ourselves to each other as everyone has their own motive behind it of doing so. Some might do it because they want to feel better about themselves and others might do it because they want to improve themselves in certain domains. Usually by using comparisons with others who share a social category with us, we can judge ourselves more positively. Wood & Wilson (2003) stated that how we achieve the generally positive self-perception we have depends on how we categorize ourselves in relation to comparison others. The two perspective that influent self-categorization are the self evaluation maintenance model and social identity theory. The self evaluation maintenance model suggests that to maintain a positive view of ourselves, we distance ourselves from others who perform better than we do on valued dimensions and move closer to others who perform worse than us which suggest that doing so will protect our self- esteem.
Meanwhile social identity theory suggests that we are motivated to perceive our groups positively and when we categorized ourselves in the same group as those who performs better than us, they make the group we associate with more positive. To investigate this theory, Scmitt, Silvia and Branschome (2000) conducted a study where the participants have to compare themselves on interpersonal level and on social identity level. The participants selected for the study said that being creative was important to them and they are compared against people who performed better and poorer than them.
It is found that on the interpersonal level, participants favor comparing themselves who perform poorer than them. But on the social identity theory, participants favor those who perform better than them as it elevates the group??™s status in performance. One of the main examples that I find is interesting on this subject is the discovery of a website, www.menarebetterthanwomen.
com. This website was created in order to prove men are better than women. In this website we can see the effect of social comparison based on social identity theory is how the men involved in the forum of the site relate the success of famous men to themselves.
These men label themselves as part of being the ???male??? group and how men have been the founder of many great things that contribute to the society compare to women. This phenomenon has been one of sources of the ethical issues of gender discrimination. The men that are active the website has not mentioned of their own success to reason why they are better than women but more to referencing the success of many famous scientist and founders that has made an impact in the world as to why them as men wholly are better than women.VI. The Self as Target Prejudice When we talk about prejudice, there will be people who will fall into being the victim of the discrimination. The self as target prejudice will look into what are the consequences of our well being when we become the target of prejudice.
There are three consequences listed of the effect of self as target prejudice, the emotional consequences, the cognitive consequences and the behavioral consequences.Emotional Consequences which are worst attribution a person can make for a bad performance for well being is that there is something unique about themselves that is applicable to many situations.Cognitive consequences which can lead to performance deficits ??“ perceived prejudice interfered people??™s ability to learn and acquire new skills. Behavioural consequences that is associated with stereotype threat ??“ can occur when people believe that they might be judged in light of a negative stereotype about their group or that, because of their performance, they may in some way confirm a negative stereotype of their group. One of the main example I can use to demonstrate how self is when is a target prejudice is by using adolescence as an example. Adolescence often becomes the target of prejudice by adults that is known as ageism. Often we see that adults tend to undermine adolescence because of not living up to the standards of expectations. So how does adolescence cope or retaliate to this phenomena regarding to selfOn the emotional consequences level when they perceive themselves as targets of prejudice by adults, they tend to think that there they are not good enough, not perfect and there times they tend to feel that the adults don??™t understand what they are going through in their lives.
This is when we see that the adolescence blame their environment and live in a life that is full of self loathe because they are not good enough for people.On the cognitive consequences level, adolescence achievement can suffer because with what the adults around feel about their capability. Often we hear that adolescence achievement suffer because no one believes in them or because the adults around them told them that they do not have the capabilities of doing in certain task because ???they don??™t have it in them???.
The last but not least, adolescents tends to fall into the stereotype threat as the result of behavioral consequences. Adults tend to place most adolescence into a stereotype depending on what they wear or how they behave. Being in a traditional and conservative society especially for the Muslims, the adults tend to look at the female adolescence who doesn??™t wear what conform them as ???Malay and Muslim???, they categorized them as someone who is immoral and does not have the ability to be a ???good??? female Muslim. But there are situations where just because does not wear that conform them as a good female Muslim doesn??™t mean they have less moral or lack of understanding and following the religion such as praying 5 times a day in depth. CONCLUSIONThere are significance in this chapter that threads in the aspects of Self-presentation, Self-knowledge, Thinking about Self, Self-esteem, Social Comparison and The Self as Target Prejudice in creating ???the self??? of each and every individuals in this world today.
Self-presentation always connected to the social networking site where people will present themselves through status, link, profile picture and information. For self-knowledge, it all about the awareness on mental and spiritual that self-help books will become one of solution to create peace of mind, mature, rational in decision making about life. Thinking about self more on personal identity versus social identity how we creating our personality. The implication from this chapter is first, actively involved in social networking can limit our time for real life such going out with friend, exercising and spending the valuable time with families. Secondly, depending on self-help books alone probably does not help so much to handle or deal with pressure that is the reason why we can see that a psycho-therapist role is still a vital and important part in the social community to ease the emotional and mental pain in individuals with emotional or mentally difficulties. For personal identity versus social identity, in the previous study, it ever mentioned that gender is a powerful social category that is likely to be activated a great deal of the time. Here we learned how we know and see ourselves depends on other judgment as well.
How people see us can affect our self and how we value ourselves as an individual in some ways in society. The effects of others judgment towards ourselves however can be minimized if we have a high and stable self esteem towards ourselves. Apart from that, we have a biased judgment towards ourselves in the society where we tend to associate ourselves with who that will benefit us in the positive way whether to make ourselves feel better about our situation or in order to protect ourselves from other people??™s judgment. BibliographyBaron, N. (2007).
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