|Who are you?
THE TOP 10 Most Important Features
of who you are...
Empty contents of purse or wallet...Are
you the person these items suggest you are?
1. Understand the influences that
shape development of the self-concept.
2. Explain the subjective, resistant
nature of the self-concept.
3. Identify the role of self-fulfilling
prophecies in shaping the self-concept and influencing communication.
4. Understand how it is possible
to change one's self-concept.
5. Explain the nature and extent
of identity management.
I. Communication and the Self-Concept
1. Self-concept: a relatively stable set of
perceptions you hold of yourself
2. Contains many dimensions: physical appearance, skills,
roles, talents, traits
3. Self-esteem - the part of the self-concept
that involves evaluations of self-worth
A. How the Self-Concept Develops:
(almost totally a product of social interaction)
Complementary Theories the Describe HOW INTERACTION Shape the Way Individuals
1. Reflected Appraisal:
self-concept is shaped by perceptions of the judgments of those around
a. Significant others are very influential.
b. SOs are people whose evaluations are especially
c. The way others' messages shape the self-concept
2. Social Comparison: evaluating
ourselves in terms of how we compare w/ others
a. Superior or inferior
b. Same as or different from (Reference
c. Besides being influenced by how others see
us, we also are shaped by how we measure up to others.
d. Offers a way of reshaping an unsatisfying
B. Characteristics of the Self-Concept
1. The self-concept is subjective
a. Self-verification: looking for people who
confirm our self-concept
b. Often based on obsolete information
and distorted feedback
c. Myth of perfection is common in our
d. Self-esteem may be based on inaccurate thinking,
but still has a powerful
effect on how we relate
2. A healthy self-concept is flexible
a. Most flexible when we are young
b. We must remain realistic!
3. The self-concept resists change
a. People resist revision of self-perception
after late 20s
b. Cognitive conservativism: tendency
to seek information that conforms to an
c. Four Necessary Conditions for Appraisals to
be Regarded as Important
1. Must be someone
we see as competent to offer new appraisal
2. The appraisal
must be perceived as highly personal
3. Must be reasonable
in light of what we believe about ourselves
4. Appraisals that
are consistent and numerous are more persuasive
C. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and
a. Occurs when personís expectations of an
event and subsequent behavior
based on those expectations
make the outcome more likely to occur
than would otherwise
have been true
b. Has a powerful influence on personality
and affects future behavior
c. Can behavior determine mood?
1. Types of Self-Fulfilling prophecies
a. Self-imposed: when your own expectations influence
b. When one person's expectations govern anotherís
actions (Pygmalion in the Classroom, 1968)
2. Influence of Self-Fulfilling prophecies
a. Can be strong, acting either to improve or
b. We are what we believe we are
D. Changing Your Self-Concept
1. Have realistic expectations
2. Have a realistic perception of yourself
3. Have the will to change
4. Have the skill to change
II. Presenting the Self: Communication
as Identity Management
Management refers to the communication strategies people use to influence
how others view them.
A. Public and Private Selves
(Erving Gofmann (1959, 1971)
1. Perceived (private) self: who you believe
yourself to be in moments of honest self-
2. Presenting (public image) self: the
way we want to appear to others (PUTTING ON A FRONT)
a. Face: the socially
b. Facework: verbal
and nonverbal ways in which we act to maintain our
own presenting image and the images of others
c. Impression management:
strategies to create a public image
2. Characteristics of Identity
a. We Strive to Construct
b. Identity Management is Collaborative
c. Impression Management Can
Be Deliberate or Unconscious
d. People Differ in Their
Degree of Identity Management (self monitoring)
B. Why Manage Impressions?
1. Social rules govern our behaviors--we create and
maintain a front to follow social rules.
2. To achieve personal goals
3. To achieve relational goals (affiliation,
control, respect, immediacy)
IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO CREATE IMPRESSIONS!
C. How Do We Manage Impressions?
FACE-TO-FACE IDENTITY MANAGEMENT
1. Manner: words and nonverbal actions
2. Appearance: personal items people use to shape an
3. Setting: physical items used to influence how others
IDENTITY MANAGEMENT IN MEDIATED
COMMUNICATION (Walther (1996) p. 16; O'Sullivan (2000) p. 25)
1. Careful wording of messages
2. Desired Level of Clarity or Ambiguity
3. Serious or Humorous
4. Logic or Emotion
5. Allows sender opportunities to say difficult things
without forcing receiver to respond immediately
6. Web Pages provide opportunities for creators to
manage their identities (words, images, sounds; inclusion, exclusion)
PEOPLE PREFER MEDIATED CHANNELS WHEN
THEIR OWN SELF-PRESENTATION IS THREATENED.
D. Identity Management and Honesty
1. We have choices about how
2. Identity Management involves deciding
which face--which part of yourself to reveal.
3. In any case you are sharing a
real part of yourself.
A. The self-concept is a
relatively stable set of perceptions individuals hold of themselves.
B. Self-fulfilling prophecies
occur when a person's ecpectations of an event influence the outcome.
C. It is possible to change
one's self-concept in ways that lead to more effective communication.
D. Identity management
consists of an individual's strategic communication designed to influence
others' perceptions of her/himself.
E. Identity managment occurs
for two reasons:
1. to follow social rules and conventions; and
2. to achieve a variety of content and relational goals.
F. Identity Management
can be an authentic form of communication.
Since each person has a variety of faces
that s/he can reveal, choosing which one to present is a central concern
of competent communicators.