Access over 20 million homework & study documents


Term Paper- Social Psychology and Self-Concept




Showing Page:
Term Paper
Total Cost: $80 for length
Directions: Create a term paper on any topic related to social psychology that interests you. The
assignment must include at least eight sources, four of those with publication dates from the past
two years.
Social psychology in it of itself has a great deal of interesting topics to discuss and focusses
primarily on the ability to interact with others as well as accept ourselves. One area of social
psychology that has always been of great interest would be that of Intrapersonal phenomena.
Intrapersonal phenomena is its own category of which covers main social actions and reactions
that human beings exhibit; social psychology discusses how each of these types of interactions
can either hinder or advance one’s ability to be successful socially. Within the category of
Intrapersonal phenomena are attitudes, persuasion, social-cognition, and self-concept. It has been
a long time belief that the ways in which one views themselves is a predicator of how successful
they will be in other areas of social interactions. Stemming from this understanding, the premise
of this paper is to discuss, and determine how self-concept effects behavior both socially and
independently and how these particular behaviors effect one’s overall ability to succeed socially.

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up
Social Psychology and Self-Concept
According to psychologist Gordon Allport, social psychology is “a discipline that uses
scientific methods to understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of
individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings"
(1985) (Cherry, 2013). In more simplistic terms, social psychology is a scientific and
methodological way of having a deeper understanding of a wide range of common social topics;
for example, group behavior, leadership, non-verbal types of behavior, aggression, social
perception and prejudice are all forms of social behaviors/topics that are studied and explained
through the application of social psychology. Of all of these different types of social topics it is
believed, personally, that the most influential of them all would be self-concept or self-
perception; meaning, the ways in which we view ourselves will be a vibrant determining factor
as to the ways in which we treat others as well as ourselves.
Self-concept, as was briefly synopsized, is a term of which directly refers to the sum of
beliefs that people carry about themselves; according to social scientist Hazel Markus (1977),
“the self-concept is made up of cognitive molecules called self-schemas which creates the ability
to believe that people have about themselves that guide the processing of self-reliant
information” (Markus, 1977). From first glance this might appear confusing but simplification of
this statement can be recognized in daily activities that each of us conduct that represent
multiples ‘selves’ within one being that ultimately determine our social interactions and

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up
For example, there are those of us that work full-time jobs while being a parent and
student all in the same day, every day. Each of these positions demand a different representation
of self and therefore our self-concepts are appropriately adjusted. While in a work setting, self-
concepts will be a reflection of professionalism; in a parenting role there is a reflection of
caretaking and patience which is not always found in a work environment; finally, there is a need
to take notes, pay attention and study for a student. All of these different types of social
responsibilities that are being conducted in an effort to remain socially ‘acceptable’ are done with
the application of different ‘selves’.
“Self-schemas are to an individual’s total self–concept as a hypothesis is to a theory, or a
book is to a library” (Stein, 2008); an all too common example of self-schemas and their
applicability to self-concept would be that of body weight. Many of us will spend a great deal of
time determining whether or not we are under, or over weight and as a result of social
psychology and understanding what is ‘socially acceptable’ we tend to make changes to our body
weight based on common social acceptance. For example, society leads us to believe that you are
not beautiful unless you are thin, in shape and remain blemish and/or wrinkle free. For younger
generations, the focus is typically on accomplishing the weight portion of social acceptance
while the elderly generation (that are influenced by these social stigmas) tend to focus more on
the wrinkle and blemish shame placed upon them by society. “There is broad consensus that the
eating disorders (EDs) of anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) stem from
fundamental disturbances in identity development, but theoretically based empirical support is
lacking” (Stein, 2008).
The question that remains is how self-concept is ultimately effected and developed and
why individuals are unable to simply accept themselves for who they are without negative or

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up
User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Really useful study material!