Social Psychology: Concept of the Self

Introduction

The concept of the self is an inclusive term that reflects how people perceive themselves. Hence, the self-concept is how a person thinks about and assesses himself or herself. One can only be aware of the self when he or she has understood the concept of the self. According to Baumeister, self-concept refers to “an individual’s belief about himself or herself, including personal attributes and what the self is from one’s perspective” (Baumeister, 1999). A concept of the self is a vital issue for both humanism and social psychology. Psychologists note that people develop a concept of the self in two ways as existential self and categorical self.

The concept of the self in the social world

One starts to comprehend the self as a part of social interactions in the world through various stages in life. Psychologists agree that self-develop indicates our abilities to be different from others. Throughout developmental processes, we require understanding of self in order to interact with others in society.

Piaget recognized that we develop our concepts of self when we are able to understand the idea of object permanence in which we believe that things exist even if we are not able to see them. From this view, a person can understand his or her existence apart from other people and objects. We are able to expand the concept of the self when we interact with others in a social world. In this process, we develop our schema and understand our social world.

In a social world, our past and future may influence what we want to be. People turn to a social world to meet their expectations in life, interact, and understand what they mean to the world. We have a given attitude toward a social world. A social world may influence how we will interact with others, what we or others may perceive as acceptable. Such acceptable influences may guide our behaviors. A person has three concepts of self, which include “self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-concept” (Myers, 2010). As we focus on these concepts of the self, we can understand how they relate with others and ourselves in a social world. As a result, we can share our personal experiences and outcomes, which are components of our social developments. Individually, I have noted that defining self involves a thorough analysis of concepts of self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-concept. As a result, I am able to me to share my personal experiences with others and gain good insights about myself in a social world.

The self to my life, including self-concept, self-esteem, and self-efficacy

The Self

The self shows me how I perceive who I am.

Self-concept

My self-concept shows me the concept of the self, which defines how I relate in a social world. My experiences have defined my self-concept (Schlegel, Hicks, Arndt & King, 2009). I have gained some of my life experiences from playing different instruments. I view these activities as a part of my achievements. I consider myself as an individual who enjoys social activities like group singing, promoting friendship, social networks, and teamwork. These activities enhance my sense of belonging, accomplishment, self-confidence, social skills, and self-discipline. I learn through experiences and mutual support I get from my family and friends as I learn how to concentrate and take my responsibilities.

Self-esteem

The concept of the self brings my self-confidence into focus. I regard my self-esteem as the way I feel and believe about my capabilities and values. This concept of the self helps to realize my worth and I consider self-esteem as a reflection of myself, achievement of my goals, and realization my self-esteem and self-confidence. I play musical instruments like keyboard, piano, and acoustic and electric guitars. These activities help me to express myself and sustain self-esteem. Self-esteem helps me to accept myself, relate with members of my group, and evaluate my accomplishments in a social world. I need self-efficacy to keep my self-esteem high.

Self-efficacy

I have gained recognition for my involvement in social activities and my accomplishments as a music instrument player. These activities and positive feedback from friends and family have raised my self-efficacy. This concept of the self helps me to realize my accomplishments and attain my goals. Through self-efficacy, I can understand my thoughts, feelings, actions, and motivation (Zulkosky, 2009).

Self-efficacy helps me to realize my abilities, which motivate me to perform tasks and achieve my goals. I have also realized that self-efficacy has helped to do my job well and strive for good results in the future, which will help to improve my self-esteem and self-concept.

Two social experiences that affected my personal development

As I reflect over on my life, I realize that several significant events that have affected my personal development in different ways. My family roots and accomplishments have shaped my career and personal developments. For instance, my father was a first lieutenant colonel aviator (he was a test pilot military flight instructor). This experience from my family has shaped my career and personal developments. Today, I am a Certified Commercial Pilot. I work at a Multi-industry Corporation, which is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers recognized for its powerful brands and excellent processes. I have been able to achieve this personal development because of self-efficacy and self-concept that I have developed over the years as I interact with my family.

Social values I have received from my family have shaped my personal development too. My grandparents were immigrants from England, but they have developed successful careers in the US. Both my parents were born in the US, but they are from different backgrounds. My mother was from Portugal while my father traces his roots to England. They have instilled strong and straightforward personalities in me. I am determined, dynamic, generous, and thoughtful. These personalities have allowed me to become a Certified Commercial Pilot with a multinational firm with strong a strong brand and excellent services globally. I work hard and dislike failing. I look for solutions whenever I am defeated in my first attempt. I love all sports and outdoor activities long walk, swimming, fitness, and listening to Gospel music. I also find personal fulfillment from reading the Holy Bible.

Conclusion

The concept of the self has helped me to understand myself social attributes in a social world. I have noted how self-esteem, self-concept, and self-efficacy have shaped my personal development in a social world. These three concepts continue to define my future development as I strive to enhance my personal goals and accomplishments while relating to others. My personal development consists of self-identity, influences from others, and personalities. My personalities distinguish me from the rest of the world in which others possess unique attributes.

References

Baumeister, R. F. (1999). The Self in Social Psychology. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press (Taylor & Francis).

Myers, D. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Schlegel, R. J., Hicks, J. A., Arndt, J., & King, L. A. (2009). Thine own self: True self-concept accessibility and meaning in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(2), 473-490. Web.

Zulkosky, K. (2009). Self-efficacy: a concept analysis. Nursing Forum, 44(2), 93-102.