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A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT. Chapter Eleven: The Self, Identity, and Personality. John W. Santrock. The Self. Self-understanding Self: All characteristics of a person Self-understanding, self-esteem, self-concept

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  1. A Topical Approach toLIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Chapter Eleven: The Self, Identity, and Personality John W. Santrock

  2. The Self • Self-understanding • Self: All characteristics of a person • Self-understanding, self-esteem, self-concept • Identity: who a person is, representing a synthesis of self-understanding • Personality: individuals’ enduring personal characteristics

  3. The Self • Self-understanding • Cognitive representation of the self, substance of self conceptions • Infancy: • Visual self-recognition tests infants • Emerges gradually up to age 2; first in mirror • By age 3: forms of self-awareness include "mine, me big, me do it"

  4. Self-Recognition in Infancy Fig. 11.1

  5. The Self • Self-understanding and early childhood • More psychologically aware of self and others • Self-recognition includes visual and verbal • Five main characteristics of self-understanding • Confusion of self, mind, and body • Self described in size, shape, color, etc.

  6. The Self • Self-understanding in childhood • Five main characteristics of self-understanding • Concrete descriptions: “I live in a big house” • Physical descriptions: “I’m not tall like her” • Active descriptions: "I can play games” • Unrealistic positive overestimations: “I know my ABCs” when s/he doesn’t know them • Occurs in older children as social comparison

  7. The Self • Self-understanding • Early childhood and understanding others • By age 4: realize others make untrue statements to get something or avoid trouble • Individual differences in social understanding; some linked to caregivers’ conversations • More aware of others’ feelings, desires

  8. The Self • Self-understanding • Middle and Late Childhood • Increased awareness of social standing • Self-understanding becomes more complex • Understanding others • Realize others have access to more information • Assume others understand them, too.

  9. The Self • Self-understanding • Perspective-taking: ability to assume another’s perspective and understand his or her thoughts and feelings • Important in children developing prosocial and antisocial attitudes and behaviors • Affects peer status and quality of friendships

  10. The Self • Middle and Late Childhood • Self-understanding: five key changes • Internal characteristicsemphasized • More referencing insocial descriptions • More use ofsocial comparisons • Distinguish betweenreal self and ideal self • Realistic in self-evaluations

  11. The Self • Self-understanding in adolescence • Abstract and idealistic • Self-conscious; preoccupied with self • Contradictions within the self: has multiple roles • Fluctuating self over time and situations • Real and ideal selves: constructed, compared • Thoughts of “possible selves” • Self-integration in sense of identity

  12. The Self • Self-understanding in adulthood • Self-Awareness • Awareness of strengths and weaknesses • Possible Selves • What one could or wanted to be, afraid to be • Life Review • Review, evaluate life’s successes and failures • Can be intense, quiet; common in old age

  13. The Self • Self-esteem and self-concept • Self-esteem: self-worth, self-image • Refers to global self-evaluation • Self-concept: domain-specific evaluations of self • Distinct: not really interchangeable

  14. The Self • Issues in self-esteem • Modest correlation with school performance • Linked to job performance; correlations vary • Related to perceived physical appearance across life-span • Depression lowers high self-esteem • Self-esteem in adolescence appears linked to adjustment and competencies in adulthood

  15. The Self • Issues in self-esteem • Narcissism:too much self-esteem • Self-centered, self-concerned, conceited • Lack of awareness linked to adjustment problems • Happiness strongly linked to self-esteem

  16. The Self • Developmental changes in self-esteem • Childhood and adolescence • Self-evaluation accuracy increases across elementary school years; more realistic • Majority of adolescents have positive self-image cross-culturally • Girls: small decreases in self-esteem may be related to relationship authenticity

  17. The Self • Developmental changes in self-esteem • Concern today: unmerited paraise as child linked to inflated self-esteem in college students; difficulty handling competition and criticism • Adulthood • Results vary on self-esteem decreasing • Individual coping skills affects perceptions of changes, events; social context matters

  18. Self-Esteem Across the Lifespan Fig. 11.3

  19. The Self • Developmental changes in self-esteem • Adulthood: older adults • Emotion-related goals increase • Health evaluation based on peer comparisons • May help maintain positive self-image • Low self-esteem linked to being widowed or institutionalized; experiencing physical decline/impairment; low religious commitment

  20. The Self • Strategies for increasing self-esteem • Identify causes of low self-esteem • Provide/seek emotional support, social approval • Develop self-confidence and initiative • Achieve • Develop coping skills

  21. The Self • Self-regulation • Ability to control one’s behavior without having to rely on others for help • Includes self-generation and cognitive monitoring of thoughts • Self-regulation linked to higher achievement and satisfaction over the lifespan

  22. The Self • Self-regulation: Infancy and early childhood • 12 to 18 mos: depend on caregivers for reminder signals about acceptable behaviors • 2 to 3 yrs: begin to comply with the caregiver’s expectations in the absence of monitoring • Preschool: learn to resist temptation and give themselves instructions that keep them focused

  23. The Self • Self-regulation: Middle/late childhood and adolescence • Capacity for self-regulation increases • Few studies done on adolescents • Increased self-control, introspection, risk-taking • More independence, advanced cognitive skills • Better at delaying gratification • More social comparison may increase risks

  24. The Self • Self-regulation: adulthood • Increase in self control in middle years • Older adults have decline in perceived self-control • Aware of age-related losses • Decline of physical and cognitive skills may be buffered by flexible adaptation • Selective optimization with compensation effective when pursuing successful outcomes

  25. The Self • Self-regulation • Selective Optimization with Compensation • Selection: reduction in performance • Optimization: continue practice, use of technology • Compensation: concealment; offsetting or counterbalancing a deficiency

  26. The Self • Self-regulation: personal control • Primary control striving • Try to change external world for needs and desires • Attain personal goals, overcome obstacles • Secondary control striving • Targets one’s inner worlds: motivation, emotion, and mental representation

  27. Changes in Primary and Secondary Control Strategies Across the Life Span Fig. 11.5

  28. Identity • What is identity? • A self-portrait composed of many pieces • Vocational/career, political, religious • Relationship, achievement/intellectual • Cultural/ethnic, sexual, physical • Personality and interests

  29. Identity • Erikson’s view • Need to understand adolescent development • Identity versus identity confusion • Adolescents examine who they are, what they are about, and where they are going in life • Psychosocial moratorium • Gap between childhood security and adult autonomy, part of exploration for identity

  30. Identity • Contemporary thoughts on identity • Lengthy process, gradual and not crisis • Begins as attachment in infancy • Involves commitment/purpose, making decisions • Years of physical, cognitive, socioemotional development can be merged into one path • Some emerge with multiple identities • Concerns today: many not resolving identity

  31. Identity • Developmental changes • Identity statuses by Marcia • Crisis: period for exploring alternative identities • Commitment: personal investment in identity • Young adolescents primarily in statuses of diffusion, foreclosure, or moratorium

  32. Marcia’s Identity Statuses Fig. 11.6

  33. Identity • Developmental changes • Early adolescence to adulthood • Key changes occur in early adulthood • Most dramatic change — vocational • Increased complexity in reasoning, experiences • Increased freedom has impact • Higher education linked to positive outcomes • Identity consolidation complete in middle age

  34. Identity • Family influences • Individuality: two dimensions • Self-assertion: ability to have, give opinions • Separateness: communicates individuality • Connectedness: two dimensions • Mutuality: respect, sensitivity to others’ views • Permeability: openness to others’ views

  35. Identity • Ethnic identity • Ethnic minority groups struggle to blend into dominant culture and keep cultural identities • Enduring aspect of self with sense of membership in ethnic group; related attitudes and feelings • Affected by sociocultural contexts • Positive ethnic identity linked to: • HS achievement, low aggression, good coping • Affected by higher education

  36. Personality • Definition: enduring personal characteristics • Trait theories • Traits: ways to describe a person by behaviors • Basic units/building blocks of personality • Five big factors: OCEAN • Led to advancements in assessing personality • Most believe personality is result of trait-situation interaction

  37. Big Five Factors of Personality Fig. 11.7

  38. Personality • Views on adult personality development • Stage crisis view: Erikson, Levinson • Levinson’s seasons of a man’s life • Stage and transitions occur in life span • Tasks/crisis in each stage shape personality • Levinson’s midlife crisis in 40s: try to cope with gap between past and future • Vaillant’s Grant Study

  39. Levinson’s Seasons of Life • Early Adult Transition: 17 to 22 • Entry life structure for early adulthood: 22 to 28 • Age 30 transition: 28 to 33 • Culminating life structure for early adulthood: 33 to 40 • Middle Adult Transition: ages 40 to 45 • Entry life structure for middle adulthood: 45 to 50 • Age 50 transition: 50 to 55 • Culminating life structure for middle adulthood: 55 to 60 • Era of late adulthood: 60 to ? • Late Adult Transition: 60 to 65

  40. Personality • Individual variations • Individuals have different experiences, ways of adapting, expectations, perceptions of needs, and giving meaning to one’s life • Stage theories stress stage crises too much • Too much emphasis on midlife crisis • Great variation in how individuals experience stages (coping abilities, emotions)

  41. Emotional Instability and Age Fig. 11.9

  42. Personality • Life events approach • Alternative to stage approach • Contemporary life-events approach • How a life event influences individual’s development depends on • The life event • Individual’s adaptation to the life event • Life-stage context • Sociohistorical context

  43. Life Events Framework Fig. 11.14

  44. Personality • Generativity • Erikson’s generativity versus stagnation • Seventh stage; important dimension in middle age • Generativity: taking care of next generation • Middle-aged adults develop in many ways • Stagnation • Self-absorption, develops when one senses s/he has done nothing for next generation

  45. Changes in Generativity from the Thirties to the Fifties Fig. 11.12

  46. Personality • Stability and change • Many longitudinal studies have found evidence for both change and stability in personality in adulthood • Costa and McCrae’s Baltimore Study • Stability of big five factors in college educated • Berkley Longitudinal Studies • Helson’s Mills College Study • Vaillant’s studies

  47. Personality • Cumulative Personality Model • With time and age, people become more adept at interacting with environment in ways that promote stability • Overall, personality is affected by • Social contexts • New experiences • Sociohistorical changes

  48. Links Between Characteristics at Age 50 and Health and Happiness at Ages 75-80 Fig. 11.13

  49. The End

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