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2.1: Introduction to the Self

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    2.1: Introduction to the Self

    Learning Objectives
    • Describe fundamental distinctions between three different perspectives on the self: the self as actor, agent, and author.
    • Describe how a sense of self as a social actor emerges around the age of 2 years and how it develops going forward.
    • Describe the development of the self’s sense of motivated agency from the emergence of the child’s theory of mind to the articulation of life goals and values in adolescence and beyond.

    In this chapter, we will explore the multifaceted nature of the self, a construct that encompasses our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as we navigate through life. The self is at the core of our identity, shaping how we perceive the world and how the world perceives us. It influences our decisions, our interactions, and our sense of purpose.

    We will begin by examining various theories that have sought to define and explain the self. From the pioneering ideas of William James, who distinguished between the "I" and the "Me," to contemporary perspectives that consider the self as a dynamic and evolving entity, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of how psychologists conceptualize this central aspect of our being.

    Furthermore, we will discuss the role of self-concept and self-esteem in personal development. How do our beliefs about ourselves influence our actions and mental health? What can we do to cultivate a healthier and more positive self-view? By exploring these questions, you will uncover strategies to enhance your self-awareness and self-acceptance.

    Additionally, this chapter will cover the impact of culture, society, and relationships on the formation and expression of the self. You will learn how social contexts and interpersonal dynamics shape our self-identity and how we can navigate these influences to foster a more authentic and fulfilling sense of self.

    Through reflective exercises, case studies, and real-life examples, you will not only learn about the self but also engage in personal reflection and self-discovery. By the end of this chapter, you will be equipped with a deeper understanding of who you are and how you can continue to grow and evolve in your personal psychology journey.

    2.1: Introduction to the Self is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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