Psychology #3

 Self and others
The first relationships.
What babies need most is other people, we are born predisposed to social interaction, partly due to our physical helplessness/dependence. For example we smile from a young age, and smile in response to human faces, smiling draws a response and therefore interaction from a parent. This interaction forms the basis for future relationship between parent and child. Attachment depends on quality of social relationship not just whoever provides for their physical needs. Quality and sensitivity to childs expressions, movements and playing in return. Full attachment occurs at 7 months of age, demonstrated by the fact that at that age babies then cry if a significant person leaves them.
Crying as a form of communicating a need. 1969 study (Wolff) showed that babies have different cries for different needs, pain, hunger, anger, and mothers learn to recognise the cries.
Apparently helpless infants are equipped to be sociable. Physical survival depends on the people around it, so the baby has to interact with those people.
Subconsciously parents teach children life skills. Baby talk highlights different sounds; making faces at babies who imitate in return sets the foundation for social experiences, i.e taking turns at conversation.
We learn social skills faster than physical development.

Self concept.
We judge what we’re like by the way others respond to us and what we think they may think.
Sometimes others ideas about us become a self fulfilling prophecy. Someone perceives that another person has certain beliefs about them ( eg that they are attractive or smart) This belief needs to be demonstrated through actions/words. It doesn’t matter if the belief is inaccurate or not genuine. We then respond to their words and expectation and therefore fulfill those beliefs. E.g the girl in their example took more pains with her appearance and increased her self confidence, which made her more attractive. She did this in response to her belief that the boys in her class found her attractive, which they demonstrated through asking her out etc, although to begin with they were only playing  a practical joke on her as she was the unpopular one. They soon became genuinely interested in her.

Our self concept is made up of self image and self esteem. Self esteem consists of positive regard (affection, respect, trust, from others) and self actualisation (Making real the different parts of yourself. Exploring and developing ideas, talents and interests.)

Conditional positive regard is when people withdraw their love if they don’t approve of our behavior. Children growing up in this are being given a message that it’s not truly them who are loved but it’s some ideal, perfect child who is never naughty. They believe they have to be ideal and perfect to be liked. This leads to a need for others approval in all that they do. So much so that they don’t risk exploring their own interests. They don’t self actualize. Also results in low self esteem. Often lead to anxiety.
Unconditional positive regard is to accept someone although not necessarily condone all they do. We can dislike their actions without disliking them. This kind of influential relationship doesn’t always have to be a parent.

Cultural and social influences.
Western world sees people as separate individuals; focused on importance of independence.
Aboriginals see people primarily as part of a family or tribe. How you live life concerns the whole community, they’re all responsible. They see individualism as irresponsible and uncivilized.
Japan emphasises social harmony/consideration. Children are brought up to feel responsible for any suffering they’ve caused. Then feeling guilty leads to self control as a way of not causing suffering and therefore not having to feel guilt.
Sense of identity is influenced by social groups we belong too. It’s part of who we are. Humans naturally categorise e.g he looks like a rock fan. Or, typical Volvo driver. If one of the groups (categories) we belong too has little status in the eyes of others we try to redefine it, leave the group, or pretend we’re unlike the other members. What others think is important to us. Humans naturally look for sources of self seteem, including the status of our groups.


About cornstalk
Corn. Singer. Nurse. Lover of music. Pursuing God (trying...). Secluded. Pianist. Wannabe gypsy. Silly.

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