Explain how social comparison theory and self-discrepancy theory influence self-perception. Men are more likely than women to include group memberships in their self-concept descriptions. Our self-concept is also formed through our interactions with others and their reactions to us. We generally want to know where we fall in terms of ability and performance as compared to others, but what people do with this information and how it affects self-concept varies.
Self-esteem varies throughout our lives, but some people generally think more positively of themselves and some people think more negatively. Self-EfficacyThe judgments people make about their ability to perform a task within a specific context. The verbal and nonverbal feedback we get from people affect our feelings of self-efficacy and our self-esteem. Self-discrepancy theoryTheory that explains that people have beliefs about and expectations for their actual and potential selves that do not always match up with what they actually experience. When we compare the actual self to the expectations of ourselves and others, we can see particular patterns of emotional and behavioral effects. Biracial individuals may have challenges with self-perception as they try to integrate both racial identities into their self-concept. There are some general differences in terms of gender and self-perception that relate to self-concept, self-efficacy, and envisioning ideal selves. In terms of self-concept, media representations offer us guidance on what is acceptable or unacceptable and valued or not valued in our society. Consciously and competently engaging in self-presentation can have benefits because we can provide others with a more positive and accurate picture of who we are.
People who have been out of work for a while may have difficulty finding the motivation to engage in the self-presentation behaviors needed to form favorable impressions.
Our self-esteem is based on the evaluations and judgments we make about various characteristics of our self-concept. Social comparison theory and self-discrepancy theory affect our self-concept and self-esteem because through comparison with others and comparison of our actual, ideal, and ought selves we make judgments about who we are and our self-worth. Socializing forces like family, culture, and media affect our self-perception because they give us feedback on who we are. Discuss at least one time in which you had a discrepancy or tension between two of the three selves described by self-discrepancy theory (the actual, ideal, and ought selves). Getting integrated: Discuss some ways that you might strategically engage in self-presentation to influence the impressions of others in an academic, a professional, a personal, and a civic context.
So the myth being thin makes me better than others is UNTRUE because when you have an eating disorder you are really saying: I have low self esteem. There are several other factors aside from self esteem that also help to bounce back from depression. Self esteem is to do with feeling good about yourself and is a vital factor to build in order to overcome depression.Here are some examples of ‘feeling good about yourself’ statements. Low self-esteem makes us filter in information that only supports our bias about ourselves – that we are no good – and it makes us ignore all the good stuff, keeping us stuck in believing that the inaccurate thoughts we have about ourselves are correct.
Perfectionism tends to work in tandem with low self-esteem.Learn to feel good about yourself even when you are not exactly how you would like to be. Since self-concept is context specific, similarity may be desirable in some situations and difference more desirable in others. For example, if your parents think you should follow in their footsteps and take over the family business, but your actual self wants to go into the military, then you may be unsure of what to do and fear being isolated from the family.
While interactions we have with individuals and groups are definitely important to consider, we must also note the influence that larger, more systemic forces have on our self-perception. While we may like to think that our self-perception starts with a blank canvas, our perceptions are limited by our experiences and various social and cultural contexts.


For example, positive self-esteem and self-efficacy tend to be higher in African American adolescent girls than Caucasian girls.Michelle B. In terms of actual and ideal selves, men and women in a variety of countries both described their ideal self as more masculine.Deborah L.
When we present ourselves in order to evoke a positive evaluative response, we are engaging in self-enhancement. It is developed through an assessment and evaluation of our various skills and abilities, known as self-efficacy, and through a comparison and evaluation of who we are, who we would like to be, and who we should be (self-discrepancy theory). This feedback can be evaluated positively or negatively and can lead to positive or negative patterns that influence our self-perception and then our communication. Prosocial self-presentation is intended to benefit others and self-serving self-presentation is intended to benefit the self at the expense of others. After looking at the list, see if you can come up with a few words that summarize the list to narrow in on the key features of your self-concept.
While self-concept is a broad description of the self, self-esteem is a more specifically an evaluation of the self.Barbara M. This skill-based assessment is an indication that Pedro has a high level of self-efficacy related to public speaking.
Obviously, negative feedback can lead to decreased self-efficacy and a declining interest in engaging with the activity again. For example, if your ought self should volunteer more for the local animal shelter, then your actual self may be more inclined to do so. For example, if your ideal self has no credit card debt and your actual self does, you may be frustrated with your lack of financial discipline and be motivated to stick to your budget and pay off your credit card bills.
Regarding self-concept, men are more likely to describe themselves in terms of their group membership, and women are more likely to include references to relationships in their self-descriptions. Scholars and media critics have critiqued this discrepancy for decades because it has contributed to many social issues and public health issues ranging from body dysmorphic disorder, to eating disorders, to lowered self-esteem.
People also engage in self-enhancement, which is a self-presentation strategy by which people intentionally seek out positive evaluations.
Each person has an overall self-concept that might be encapsulated in a short list of overarching characteristics that he or she finds important. If he does well on the speech, the praise from his classmates and professor will reinforce his self-efficacy and lead him to positively evaluate his speaking skills, which will contribute to his self-esteem.
For example, if your ought self should volunteer more for the local animal shelter, then your actual self may be more inclined to do so due to the guilt of reading about the increasing number of animals being housed at the facility.
Although these are powerful socializing forces, there are ways to maintain some control over our self-perception.
We will begin to answer these questions in this section as we explore self-concept, self-esteem, and self-presentation. As you can see in Figure 2.2 "Relationship between Self-Efficacy, Self-Esteem, and Self-Concept", judgments about our self-efficacy influence our self-esteem, which influences our self-concept. By the end of the class, Pedro likely thinks of himself as a good public speaker, which may then become an important part of his self-concept. For example, many professional women who are also mothers have an ideal view of self that includes professional success and advancement. A review of many studies in this area found that people in Western countries such as the United States were significantly more likely to self-enhance than people in countries such as Japan. In fact, more recent studies have discounted much of the early research on race and self-esteem that purported that African Americans of all ages have lower self-esteem than whites.
Being a skilled self-presenter draws on many of the practices used by competent communicators, including becoming a higher self-monitor.
Prosocial self-presentationStrategically exhibiting behaviors that present a person as a role model and make a person more likable and attractive. For example, you may judge yourself to be more intelligent than your brother or less athletic than your best friend, and these judgments are incorporated into your self-concept.


When feedback from others is different from how we view ourselves, additional cycles may develop that impact self-esteem and self-concept. The actual selfSelf that consists of the attributes that you or someone else believes you actually possess.
They may also have an ought self that includes a sense of duty and obligation to be a full-time mother. When self-presentation skills and self-monitoring skills combine, communicators can simultaneously monitor their own expressions, the reaction of others, and the situational and social context.John J. Self-enhancement can be productive and achieved competently, or it can be used inappropriately. In general, the ease of digital communication, not just on Facebook, has presented new challenges for our self-control and information management.
As research shows that men and women are becoming more and more dissatisfied with their bodies, which ultimately affects their self-concept and self-esteem, health and beauty product lines proliferate and cosmetic surgeries and other types of enhancements become more and more popular. Although people occasionally intentionally deceive others in the process of self-presentation, in general we try to make a good impression while still remaining authentic. Using self-enhancement behaviors just to gain the approval of others or out of self-centeredness may lead people to communicate in ways that are perceived as phony or overbearing and end up making an unfavorable impression.John J. The ideal selfSelf that consists of the attributes that you or someone else would like you to possess. From young children to older adults, people are becoming more aware of and oftentimes unhappy with their bodies, which results in a variety of self-perception problems. Since self-presentation helps meet our instrumental, relational, and identity needs, we stand to lose quite a bit if we are caught intentionally misrepresenting ourselves. Self-serving self-presentationStrategically exhibiting behaviors that present a person as highly skilled, willing to challenge others, and someone not to be messed with. If a man wants to get into better shape and starts an exercise routine, he may be discouraged by his difficulty keeping up with the aerobics instructor or running partner and judge himself as inferior, which could negatively affect his self-concept. The ought selfSelf that consists of the attributes you or someone else believes you should possess. The cycles of praise and blame are just two examples of how the family as a socializing force can influence our self-perceptions. Since many biracial individuals identify as and are considered African American by society, living and working within a black community can help foster more positive self-perceptions in these biracial individuals.
Using as a reference group people who have only recently started a fitness program but have shown progress could help maintain a more accurate and hopefully positive self-concept. Most of that feedback is in the form of constructive criticism, which can still be difficult to receive, but when taken in the spirit of self-improvement, it is valuable and may even enhance our self-concept and self-esteem. Such incidents clearly show that although people can get away with such false self-presentation for a while, the eventual consequences of being found out are dire.
In summary, prosocial strategies are aimed at benefiting others, while self-serving strategies benefit the self at the expense of others. You can see in this example that evaluations we place on our self-concept can lead to cycles of thinking and acting.
As communicators, we sometimes engage in more subtle forms of inauthentic self-presentation. These cycles relate to self-esteem and self-efficacy, which are components of our self-concept. These cases of strategic self-presentation may not ever be found out, but communicators should still avoid them as they do not live up to the standards of ethical communication. All these challenges lead to a sense of being marginalized from both ethnic groups and interfere in the development of positive self-esteem and a stable self-concept.




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