The Self, Identity, & Personality. Chapter 11. SELF. All the Characteristics of the Person Self-concept: everything the person believes to be true about him/herself Includes traits, preferences, social roles, values, beliefs, interests, self-categorization
Thank you to Dr. Tracey Zinn, on whose conference presentation this section is based.
Propagated primarily in the educational system
Curricula aimed at increasing students’ self-esteem
Affects Everyone born after 1970…
Focus has been on increasing self-esteem that is not rooted in reality
Researchers now suggesting that students need to be able to identify their talents
The Psychology of Self-EsteemBranden (1969)
“Keep your head up, feel good about yourself”
but not“take responsibility for your work”.
Forsyth et al (2007)
“You can do anything!”
No use of the word “failure”
Everyone got all As in HS, doing little work
Unrealistic expectations of success
Students report being bored in class
“Being happy is the most important thing”
We should always feel good about ourselves
Increase in narcissism (debated)
Don’t say “I’m a good soccer player” (Just say “I’m good.”)
Carol Dweck’s research
Effort is considered a sign of stupidity
When children are told that they are smart, they choose an easier task.
Panic when they are challenged or
think they are engaging in “a lot of effort”.
Encouraged delicate handling of children
Shielded them from negative emotions, criticism
Praised kids regardless of what they did
Carol Dweck’s research
Parents often think that helping their kids build self-esteem is done by shielding them from criticism and praising their talents
Protecting kids from hurt, failure, criticism, & disappointment has made them more vulnerable
[High self-esteem] Isn’t associated with improved grades, career achievement, reduced alcohol usage, lower violent behavior, etc.
Baumeister and colleagues (2003)
Susan Jacoby The Age of American Unreason
Are our students (people) hostile to knowledge?
Self-esteem movement = I’m the smartest kid!
“I’m supposed to be happy!”
The Myth of Self-Esteem: Finding Happiness and Solving Problems in America
“Why do you feel good about yourself?”
“Because of self-esteem”
Risk of depression & anxiety higher for young people today
“Our growing tendency to put the self first leads to unparalleled freedom, but it also creates an enormous amount of pressure on us to stand alone.”
Against happiness: In praise of melancholy
Loss of sadness:How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder
Alan Horwitz & James Wakefield
The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders Peter Conrad