The Development of the Self - Fundamentals of Psychology 2 - Lecture 4
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The Development of the Self - Fundamentals of Psychology 2 - Lecture 4.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the individual Simon Bignell and not University of Derby.

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  • 1. Unit 1: Developmental Psychology The Development of the Self Spring 2010 Lecture 4
  • 2. Learning outcomes
    • On completion of the module you will be able to:
    • Demonstrate an understanding of empirical research and theories in:
      • Developmental Psychology
      • Abnormal Psychology
      • Cognitive Psychology
    • Demonstrate an ability to present, explain and summarise information.
  • 3. The module team
    • Module Lecturers
    • Simon Bignell : Room N208; Telephone: 01332 593043; email: [email_address] (Module Leader)
    • Anna Maria DiBetta : Room N208; Telephone: 01332 593080; email:
    • Lovemore Nyatanga: Room N204a; Telephone: 01332 593055; email:
    • Module Seminar Leaders
    • Above plus the following Post-Graduate Teaching Assistants
    • Atiya Kamal : Room N302; email:
    • Lauren Kelly : Room N302; email:
  • 4. Recommended textbooks
    • Passer, M, Smith, R., Holt, N., Bremmer, A., Sutherland, E. and Vliek, M. (2008). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour, London: McGraw Hill.
    • Chapter 13 and 14
    • Additional / Alternative texts:
    • Unit 1: Developmental Psychology:
      • Siegler, R, DeLoache, J.S. & Eisenberg, N. (2006) How Children Develop (2nd Ed.) NY: Worth.
        • Chapter 11
  • 5. Components of the module
    • Unit 1: Developmental Psychology:
    • Cognitive development (SB)
    • The development of social relations (SB)
    • The development of the self (SB )
  • 6. The Development of the Self
    • Definitions of the Self and Self-concept
    • The Rouge Test (Self Awareness)
    • The Developing Sense of Self
    • Erikson’s 8 Psychosocial Stages of Development
    • Quick recap of this Section
  • 7. The Developing Sense of Self
    • Children’s sense of self emerges in the early years of life and continues to develop into adulthood, becoming more complex as the individual’s emotional and cognitive development deepens.
    • Adults contribute to the child’s self-image by providing descriptive information about the child.
    • Self-esteem grows in relation to these factors.
  • 8. The ‘Self’
      • Self / ‘not others’
      • Conceptions of the Self
        • A conceptual system made up of one’s thoughts and attitudes about oneself.
        • An individual’s conceptions about the self can include thoughts about one’s own physical being, social roles and relationships, and ‘spiritual’ or internal characteristics.
      • Conceptions of ‘ Identity’
        • Used interchangeably with Self .
          • The idea of selfhood based on the uniqueness and individuality which makes a person distinct from others.
  • 9. The ‘Self’
    • Self-concept
      • A multi-dimensional construct that refers to an individual’s perception of ‘self’ in relation to any number of characteristics, e.g. gender roles and sexuality, racial identity, and many others.
    • Self-awareness
      • An individual’s awareness of their self.
    • Self-esteem
      • The evaluative element of the self-concept.
  • 10. The Rouge (Mark) Test
    • A self-recognition test that identifies a child’s ability to recognise a reflection in a mirror as his or her own.
    • A measure of self-concept; the child who touches the rouge on their own nose upon looking into a mirror demonstrates basic ability of understanding global awareness.
    Amsterdam (1972)
  • 11. The Rouge (Mark) Test
    • Using makeup, an experimenter surreptitiously places a dot on the nose of the child.
    • The child is then placed in front of a mirror and their reactions are monitored; depending on the child’s development, distinct categories of responses are demonstrated.
  • 12. The Rouge (Mark) Test
    • 6 to 12 months - the child simply sees a ‘sociable playmate’ in the mirror’s reflection.
    • 12 months - self-admiring and embarrassment begin.
    • 14 to 20 months - most children demonstrate avoidance behaviours.
    • 18 months half of children recognise the reflection in the mirror as their own.
    • 20 to 24 months self-recognition climbs to 65 percent.
  • 13. The Developing Sense of Self
    • Infants have a rudimentary sense of self in the first months of life, as evidenced by their control of objects outside of themselves.
    • Their sense of self becomes more distinct at about 8 months of age, when they respond to separation from primary caregivers with separation distress.
  • 14. The Developing Sense of Self
    • By 18 to 20 months of age, many children can look into a mirror and realise that the image they see there is themselves.
      • By 30 months of age, almost all children recognise their own photograph.
    • By Two-years-old children’s exhibition of embarrassment and shame, their self-assertive behaviour, and their use of language also indicate their self-awareness.
  • 15. The Developing Sense of Self
    • At age 3 to 4 , children understand themselves in terms of concrete, observable characteristics related to physical attributes, physical activities and abilities, and psychological traits.
      • Their self-evaluations during the preschool years are unrealistically positive.
    • Children begin to refine their conceptions of self in primary school , in part because they increasingly engage in social comparison, the process of comparing aspects of one’s own psychological, behavioural, or physical functioning to that of others in order to evaluate oneself.
  • 16. The Developing Sense of Self
    • By middle to late primary school, children’s conceptions of self begin to become integrated and more broadly encompassing, reflecting cognitive advances in the ability to use higher-order concepts.
    • In addition, older children can coordinate opposing self-representations and are inclined to compare themselves with others on the basis of objective performance.
    In elementary school, children’s self-concepts are increasingly based on their relationships with others, especially peers, and others’ evaluations of them, making them vulnerable to low self-esteem
  • 17. The Developing Sense of Self
    • The ability to use abstract thinking allows adolescents to think of themselves in terms of abstract characteristics that encompass a variety of concrete characteristics and behaviours.
      • Adolescents can also conceive of themselves in terms of a variety of selves, depending on the context.
  • 18. The Developing Sense of Self
    • In early adolescence , thinking about the self is characterised by a form of egocentrism called the personal fable , a story that adolescents tell about themselves that involves beliefs in the uniqueness of their own feelings and their immortality.
    • The kind of egocentrism that forms the basis for adolescents’ personal fables also causes many adolescents to be preoccupied with what others think of them.
      • The imaginary audience refers to the belief that everyone is focused on the adolescent’s appearance and behaviour.
  • 19. The Developing Sense of Self
    • In their middle teens , adolescents often begin to agonise over the contradictions in their behaviour and characteristics.
      • Most, however, still do not have the cognitive skills needed to integrate their recognition of these contradictions into a coherent conception of self .
  • 20. The Developing Sense of Self
    • In late adolescence and early adulthood , the individual’s conception of self becomes both more integrated and less determined by what others think.
      • Older adolescents’ conceptions of self also frequently reflect internalised personal values, beliefs, and standards.
      • Support and tuition from parents, teachers, and others is important in helping adolescents understand the complexity of personalities.
  • 21. Erikson’s Views
    • Erik Erikson argued that the resolution of these many issues, the crisis of identity versus identity confusion , is the chief developmental task in adolescence .
    • During this stage, the adolescent or young adult either develops an identity or experiences one of several negative outcomes:
    "Human personality in principle develops according to steps predetermined in the growing person's readiness to be driven toward, to be aware of and to interact with a widening social radius"
  • 22. Erikson’s Views
    • Identity confusion: An incomplete and sometimes incoherent sense of self, with resulting feelings of isolation and depression.
    • Identity foreclosure: Can arise if adolescents prematurely commit themselves to an identity without adequately considering their choices.
    • Negative identity: An identity that represents the opposite of what is valued by people around the adolescent.
  • 23. Erikson’s Views
    • Due to the complexity of achieving an identity in modern society, and because of the negative consequences of failing to do so, Erikson argued for the importance of a psychosocial moratorium.
      • A time-out period during which the adolescent is not expected to take on adult roles and can pursue activities that lead to self-discovery.
      • Only possible in some cultures and only to the more privileged classes.
  • 24. Infant (0-1 years) 1) Trust vs Mistrust Needs maximum comfort with minimal uncertainty to trust himself/herself, others, and the environment. Toddler (2-3 years) 2) Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt Works to master physical environment while maintaining self esteem. Preschooler (3-6 years) 3) Initiative vs Guilt Begins to initiate, not imitate, activities; develops conscience and sexual identity. Erikson’s 8 Psychosocial Stages of Development
  • 25. School-Age Child (6-12 years) 4) Industry vs Inferiority Tries to develop a sense of self-worth by refining skills. Adolescent (12-19 years) 5) Identity vs Role Confusion Tries integrating many roles (child, sibling, student, athlete, worker) into a self-image under role model and peer pressure. Young Adult (19-25 years) 6) Intimacy vs Isolation Learns to make personal commitment to another as spouse, parent or partner. Erikson’s 8 Psychosocial Stages of Development
  • 26. Middle-Age Adult (25-50 years) 7) Generativity vs Stagnation Seeks satisfaction through productivity in career, family, and civic interests. Older Adult (50 + years) 8) Integrity vs Despair Reviews life accomplishments, deals with loss and preparation for death. Erikson’s 8 Psychosocial Stages of Development
  • 27. Summary for Lecture 4
    • The ‘Self’.
      • Self-concept
      • Self-awareness
      • Self-esteem
    • The Rouge (Mark) Test.
    • The Developing Sense of Self.
    • Erikson’s 8 Psychosocial Stages of Development.
  • 28. Summary for Section 1 Developmental Psychology
    • Lecture 2 - Cognitive development.
      • Piaget: Children think and learn in ways different from adults.
          • Sensorimotor stage (0 to 2 years).
          • Preoperational stage (2 to 7 years).
          • Concrete operational stage (7 to 11 years).
          • Formal operation stage (11+ years).
    • Lecture 3 - The development of social relations.
      • Bowlby: Infant’s innate behaviours are evolved responses to promote survival.
          • Preattachment phase (0 to 6 weeks).
          • Attachment-in-the-making (6 weeks to 6-8 months).
          • Clear-cut attachment (6-8 months to 1½-2 years).
          • Reciprocal relationships (from 1½ or 2 years on).
  • 29. Summary for Section 1 Developmental Psychology
    • Lecture 4 - The development of the self.
      • Erikson: Resolution of crisis important for healthy social development.
        • Trust vs. Mistrust (0-1 years).
        • Autonomy vs. Shame (2-3 years).
        • Initiative vs. Guilt (3-6 years).
        • Industry vs. Inferiority (6-12 years).
        • Identity vs. Role confusion (12-19 years).
        • Intimacy vs. Isolation (19-25 years).
        • Generativity vs. Stagnation (25-50 years).
        • Ego Integrity vs. Despair (50 + years).
  • 30. Next Section – Abnormal Psychology
    • Abnormal behaviour
    • Psychological disorders
    • Interventions and therapies
    • Main Text
      • Passer, M., Smith, R., Holt, N., Bremmer, A., Sutherland, E. and Vliek, M. (2008). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour , London: McGraw Hill.
    • Additional / Alternative Text
      • Comer, R.J. (2007). Abnormal Psychology (6th edition), Worth Publishers: London.