The Self: Conceptions and Aspects

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The Self: Conception and Aspects Psych 555 University of Phoenix The Self: Conception and Aspects The self and all its aspects are an integral part of social psychology. Learning more about the self fosters our understanding of ourselves as individuals and others in general. Acknowledging the self and attempting to understand it may have important evolutionary potential as the understanding leads to group membership (Fiske, 2010). The self is a fluid concept with static components. An individual’s identity may shift and evolve over time but have characteristics that remain the same. Self-Concept The concept of self involves numerous facets of an individual. An individual’s self-concept may include internal processes, physical appearance, and social roles. While one’s self concept remains largely stable over time, the concept of self develops with the understanding of who we are as individuals. A very young child has a much more limited self-concept than an adult. A child’s self-concept will likely consist of abilities and gender; internal processes such as feelings and character traits develop later with maturation. Self-concept is shaped by cultural norms, familial influence, and internal values. Our self-concept may be influenced by the society we live in. Individualistic societies such as the Western culture encourage the self to be the central focus of each individual person. Collectivist societies discourage individual expression and encourage group thinking. In collectivist societies, social roles define a person and their importance more so than in Western cultures. According to Hornsey and Jetten (2004), self-definition involves not just memories, unique attitudes, and actions that differentiate ourselves from other individuals (our “personal identities”) but also the combined attitudes, memories, and behaviors pulled
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