Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JceD_7q1r3s (Frowning Baby)All the worlds a stage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWVCBj5v9cESelf conceptions shape self-presentationConceptions of others shape behaviour towards othersSocial action/interaction is guided by understandings of:Our own and others’ actionsObjectsEventsThe way we perceive others’ behaviour and the impressions we form of them largely determine how we act toward themWe respond to peoples social identitiesWe attempt to manipulate outcome by controlling: Setting – in a place that makes the person seem more powerful, attractive, wealthy, popular etc Appearance – make-up, hair style, clothing, body enhancement (tattoos, piercings) Manner – confident, self-effacing (modest), demureRemember the Bystander video – how did people respond to the actors social identities?
Symbolic Interaction refers to the nuances of an interaction, and their interpretationSymbolic gestures used in interactions include:Sitting or standing Tone of voiceNon verbal indications
Authentic – goal is to create an image that is consistent with the way we view ourselves (our real self)Ideal – consistent with what we wish we wereTactical – consistent with what others want us to be (doesn’t care it it’s not like their authentic self)Tactical is what we will be mostly concerned with today
Barriers between back and front facilitate impression management because they block access to the violation images that occur behind them. Breakdowns in these barriers will undermine the ability of persons to manage appearances. i.e. When public people are caught off guard (stars without makeup, politicians doing something dopey – see any George Bush clip)
Our appearance gives clues about the type of person we are and the lines of action we intend to pursue.We use props – we wear clothes that are appropriate to our perception of the situation i.e. A job interview. Props can also be in the environment i.e. the way we decorate our homes to say something about who we are.
Whenever there is another person present you are on stage. The way you look and/or what you say or do is open to interpretation. There are a number of assumptions that can be made about a (performance) social situation Situational ProprietyRefers to the practical knowledge of how to act in social situations - by actively negotiating the meaning of events (taking things in, thinking “ what’s happening here”) - invoke pre-existing event schemas to provide a definition (particularly useful in common or recurring events) - Not all people may have the same idea of the situation which can cause confusion and embarrassment InvolvementYou assume all parties are involved in the interaction by giving your attention to the situationAccessibilityThere are expectations about others behaviour in the interaction – and you have a duty to behave a certain way Civil inattention is the process whereby individuals who are in the same physical setting of interaction demonstrate to one another that they are aware of one another, but without being either threatening or over-friendly. - disclosing information about the self that is consistent with claimed identity (by the way you act, speak, dress etc ie you probably wouldn’t wear bathers to work)
Some impression management is tacticalPeople sometimes present themselves in such a way as to create false, exaggerated or misleading images in the eyes of others. Why?Often ingratiation, intimidation or self-promotion is sought as a means controlling outcomes that are mediated by others.
Something teachers and managers need to be aware of – can result in a ‘halo effect’ – cognitive biasSelective Self Presentation - Exaggerating one’s own admirable qualities (self-enhancement) - Feigning modesty (self-deprecation) - Playing ‘dumb’‘Playing Dumb’ tactic mostly used by young, highly educated males (trying to ingratiate themselves to employers)All can backfire if not done carefully.
Teacher to student “I know you can do better than that” (pressure to live up to identity)Reporter to Politian – “Explain to the voters why you can’t control runaway debt” (puts the person in a defensive position) Looks bad either way
Detecting deceptive impression managementMourners know morticians sentiments are superficial but are willing to accept the behaviour because the alternative may not be goodUlterior MotivesFlattery may enhance someone's identity if there appears they have nothing to gain or damage it if they doIngratiator’s DilemmaWhen someone is in a position where they have discretionary power over the distribution of benefits they may be more vigilant in detecting ingratiating behaviourNon-verbal leakage - Inadvertent communication of true intentions or emotions through non-verbal channels - Non-verbal channels that are least controllable – voice quality and body movements – are the ones that leak the most information - voice may be imperceptibly higher - hesitation - speech errors (stuttering and stammer) - response length (liars give shorter answers) - pupil dilation (liars show more dilation) - blinking (liars blink more) - self directed gestures (liars touch themselves more) - lying smiles contain a trace of disgust, fear, or sadnessWhat are other reasons that might cause these signs?
People can feel embarrassed if:We could look foolish for associating with them and not being aware of their inadequacy ie if you recommended a friend for a job and they didn’t perform well.Cognitive shortcomings = forgetting someone’s namePrivacy violation – walking in on someone in a fitting room - the sudden and unexpected conversion of a back region into a front region is embarrassing for those whose identities are tarnished as a resultAwkwardness or lack of poise – falling over in public, burping
Disclaimers – “I know this isn’t PC but...”, My brother is gay but.....” usually has a ‘but’ in there somewhere“I’m no expert, but...”AccountsThe explanations people offer to mitigate responsibility after they have performed acts that threaten social identitiesExcuses – reduce or deny one’s responsibilityJustifications - admit responsibility but attempt to define behaviour as appropriate under the circumstances
Restoring Face - They may make excuses that minimise their responsibility or offer justifications that define their behaviour as acceptable under the circumstances. Fell over because the tiles were slippery - If accounts are unavailable or insufficient the embarrassed person may offer an apology for the discrediting behaviour and admit that his or her behaviour was wrong - Others in the interaction will usually assist with explanations - Apology reaffirms threatened norms and reassures others that he or she will not violate those norms againCooling OutIf person continues to glaringly fail to meet performance standards or to present appropriate identities then others cease to help them to save face – failing students are dropped from school, failing employees are firedExamples of cooling out include advising a student to take a less challenging course, or an employee to take a less challenging role at workIdentity degradation - Establishes the offender as a non-person, who cannot be trusted to perform as part of the social group - Imposes severe loss on the offender, is usually done forcibly - often involves a dramatic ceremony such as a court trial or sanity hearing – denouncer acts on behalf of the larger society or the law - If degradation succeeds the person is forced to taken on a new identity such as ‘insane’ criminal’ or dishonourably discharged’
Self handicappingi.e. Staying up all night before the exam then blaming failure on tiredness, blaming lack of practice rather than lack of abilitySelf-MonitoringThe tendency to emphasize impression management to a great extent. “I would probably make a good actor”
Week 5 Impression Management
SCY2400/3400Social Psychology – Week 5<br />
Housekeeping<br />Attendance list<br />Groups posted on Blackboard<br />
Basics of Impression Management<br />Individual will attempt to control or guide others impression by changing or fixing his or her setting, appearance and manner<br />At the same time, the person that the individual is interacting with is trying to form and obtain information about the individual<br />All participants in social interactions are engaged in certain practices to avoid being embarrassed or embarrassing others<br />
Erving Goffman<br />Influenced by Mead - symbolic interaction <br />Led to development of the dramaturgical perspective <br />Began with his 1956 book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.<br />Collection of six essays<br />http://swu.me/a/jg<br />
Goffman: meanings of ‘self’<br />Authentic<br />Ideal<br />Tactical<br />Hybrid i.e. someone who wears make-up that enhances the way they look but still acts authentically<br />
Dramaturgical Approach<br />Performance: any individual activity that is:<br />Self-aware,<br />before a particular set of observers, and<br />influences the observers<br />Front<br />Accessories<br />Supports or<br />Props<br />Used in performances<br />Front stage or region: public domain for role performance<br />Back stage: performance preparation area<br />
Regions<br />Front and back stages <br />Regions we use in managing appearances<br />Front<br />Realm where we carry out <br />interaction performances in <br />relation to others<br />Back<br />Inaccessible to outsiders<br />Realm where we knowingly violate <br />the appearances we present in front regions<br />Often separated by physical or locational barriers<br />Spice Girls and supermodels<br />http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/2007/11/16/1194766947403.html<br />
The Role of Appearance<br />Everything about a person that others can observe. <br />Clothes, Grooming<br />Overt habits (smoking, flicking hair, chewing gum)<br />Arrangement of personal possessions<br />Verbal communications (accents, vocabulary)<br />Non verbal communications<br />Props<br />
Performance Assumptions<br />Situational propriety<br />Context<br />Involvement<br />Attention<br />Accessibility<br />Performance expectations/duty<br />Civil inattention<br />Withdrawing attention<br />I’ll have the bacon and eggs<br />I’ll have the red Toyota<br />
Tactical Impression Management<br />Definition - The process of creating false images of ourselves<br />Want others to:<br />Like us better (ingratiation)<br />Fear us (intimidate)<br />Respect our abilities (self-promotion)<br />Respect our morals (exemplification)<br />Feel sorry for us (supplication)<br />
Ingratiation<br />Deliberate use of deception in an effort to make people like us<br />Usually involves:<br />an ulterior motive (there are benefits for us)<br />situations where the other person has discretionary power<br />Often achieved by:<br />Opinion conformity<br />Other enhancement (flattery)<br />Selective self-presentation<br />
Altercasting<br />Place others in situated roles that are to our advantage<br />Treating others as if they already have the identities and roles we wish to impose<br />Creates pressure on the other person to live up to the imposed identity<br />Can be used to put the other person in a defensive position<br />
Detecting Deceptive Impression Management<br />People may accept deceptive behaviour if they have little to gain by questioning it<br />Ulterior Motives<br />Self-serving<br />Ingratiator’s Dilemma<br />Non verbal cues of deception<br />Debatable – statistically just better than chance<br />Non-verbal leakage<br />
Ineffective Self-Presentation and Spoiled Identities<br />
Embarrassment<br />The feeling we experience when the public identity we claim is an encounter is discredited<br />We may also experience it when the identities of those we are associating with are discredited<br />People can feel embarrassed if:<br />It becomes publically apparent that they lack the skills to perform in a manner consistent with the identity they claim<br />They have cognitive shortcomings<br />There is a privacy violation<br />There is awkwardness or lack of poise<br />
Aligning Actions<br />Attempts to define questionable behaviour as being in line with social norms <br />everybody does it<br />Disclaimers<br />A verbal assertion intended to wear off negative implications by defining the actions as irrelevant to one’s established identity<br />Their situation is different to others<br />Accounts<br />Excuses<br />Justifications<br />
Restoring Face, Cooling Out & Identity Degradation<br />Embarrassed person will often apologise, provide an account, or otherwise realign his or her actions with normative behaviour<br />Cooling Out<br />Persuading the person to accept a less desirable, although still reasonable, alternative identity<br />Identity Degradation<br />Process of destroying the offender’s identity and transforming him or her into a ‘lower’ social type<br />
Stigma<br />Characteristic widely viewed as an insurmountablehandicapthat prevents competent or morally trustworthy behaviour<br />Physical<br />Scaring, missing limbs, deformities<br />Character<br />Dishonesty, unnatural passions, psychological derangements<br />
Preventing Future IM Failure<br />Self-Handicapping<br />Creating obstacles that mask the true reason<br />Behavioural<br />People create genuine handicaps such as fatigue, alcohol or drug abuse, lack of punctuality, inattention etc.<br />Self-reported<br />Ill, anxious, shy<br />Self-Monitoring<br />People who are very self-aware that they use impression management tactics<br />