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Self-Awareness & The Unconscious Mind


1.         What is Self-Awareness?
2.         What Self- Awareness is NOT
3.         Self-Monitoring vs. Self-Awareness
4.         One Reason to Become Self-Aware
5.         How to Become Self-Aware
6.         Personality: One Way of Thinking About Yourself
7.         The Big Five Personality Dimensions
8.         Relation Between Big Five Dimensions
9.         What is Not Personality?
10.       Why is Personality Important?
11.       Possible Exam Questions on Personality
12.       Example of Bandwidth and Fidelity Issue
13.       Usefulness of Taxonomies
14.       Specific Traits
15.       What is Self-Esteem? Why is it Important?
16.       What is Not Self-Esteem?
17.       What is Locus of Control? Why is it Important?
18.       What is Not Locus of Control?
19.       Specific Traits: Self-Monitoring
20.       Ways to Describe Oneself
21.       Goals, Motives, and Values
22.       Motives
23.       Why Become Self-Aware?

What Is Self-Awareness?

    Ability to assess one’s personality, behaviors & skills accurately
•  Examples
– Self-subordinate agreement (Church, J of Appl Psy, 1997)

• Student-teacher agreement on judgments of performance on presentations (Radhakrishnan, in progress)
•  Own vs. peer presentations
•  Practice vs. final presentation

• Accuracy of predicted judgments v. actual performance on exams (Radhakrishnan et al., 1996; 2000)

What Self Awareness is NOT

•   Self-monitoring
– Extent to which you monitor, regulate &/or control behavior/appearance in social situations
• Low self-monitors behave according to their own inner states whereas high monitors behave according to the social situation

– E.g., I may deceive people by being friendly when I really dislike them

Self-Monitoring vs. Self-Awareness

•  Knowing oneself accurately (self-awareness) is different from being able to change, monitor, or regulate behaviors in the presence of others (self-monitoring)
– Self-awareness and self-monitoring may be related to each other

One Reason to Become Self-Aware

   To improve performance
– High performing managers were more self-aware (Church, 97)

How to Become Self-Aware

•  Use valid & reliable tests

•  Feedback from friends & family
•  e.g., Fill out a personality survey with you in mind

•  Feedback from peers

•  Feedback from yourself
– In different kinds of situations
– In new situations (e.g., in unfamiliar roles)

Some Ways of  thinking about Yourself

Personality: One Way of thinking about Yourself

•  What is Personality?
– Tendency toward thinking, behaving and feeling in consistent ways across different types of situations & across time

–  E.g., Goldberg’s IPIP; others in Ch. 1 Aamodt & Raynes
•   Differentiates one person from another
•   Describes universal behaviors, thoughts & feelings
–  E.g., The 5 dimensions of personality is one grouping of behaviors, thoughts & feelings

The Big five personality dimensions

    Based on an analysis of the relation between trait words used to describe people:

    Openness: artistic, creative, broad interests, cultured, knowledgeable
    Conscientiousness: careful, fussy, tidy, hardworking, neat, punctual
    Extraversion: extraverted, frank, talkative, fun loving, sociable
    Agreeableness: acquiescent, mild, gentle, softhearted
    Emotional Stability: Angry, anxious, worried, guilt- ridden, nervous

The relation between the Big five dimensions

•  The Big Five are supposed to be uncorrelated with each other
•  i.e., a score on one dimension does not predict scores on another dimension.
•  In reality, some weak correlations exist.
•  E.g., neuroticism is negatively correlated with extraversion, agreeableness, & conscientiousness.

What is NOT Personality?

•  Behavior: Actions/reactions
– Can be observed/measured all the time
•  E.g., Talkativeness in social situations is extraversion vs. talkativeness in non-social situations is not

– Is influenced by personality & other factors
•  E.g., Talking in class is determined by personality and reinforcement whereas talking across different social situations is determined by personality

Why is Personality Important?

•  Conscientiousness predicts
o Job performance
o Attendance, retention
o Counterproductive behaviors
o Job satisfaction
o Income, occupational status
• Extraversion predicts
o Performance on managerial and sales jobs
o Income, occupational status
• Agreeableness & Low neuroticism predicts
o Income, occupational status

Possible exam questions on Personality

       What are your scores on the Big Five?

  • Describe a situation in which a personality dimension that describes you (e.g., extraversion) played a positive role and another situation in which the same dimension played a negative role in your life.

         What features of your personality profile are your strengths and weaknesses as a manager?
•          Learn about the job requirements of a manager

Bandwidth and Fidelity

One problem with using only personality to describe/understand yourself:

• Bandwidth- A factor that can predict many different behaviors, feelings, etc.
•          Fidelity – A factor that can predict behaviors with high accuracy Bandwidth and fidelity are in conflict.

•          Each Big Five Factor has high bandwidth, but low fidelity
•          A specific trait has higher fidelity, but lower bandwidth than a Big Five Factor


Examples of Bandwidth and Fidelity Issue

•          Conscientiousness predicts neatness of dorm room and grades with moderate accuracy.
•          Messy predicts neatness of dorm room but not grades.
•          Achievement motivation predicts grades but not neatness of dorm room.

Therefore, we study specific traits

•          Examples of Specific Traits
–          Self Esteem

–          Locus of Control

–          Self-Monitoring

What is Self Esteem?

•          View of oneself positively; approval of oneself, judging oneself as significant, capable, worthy, believe that one has desirable traits
–          I am a good person
–          I do most things well

•          Validity (aka importance of self-esteem)
–          Predicts job performance & motivation

What is Not Self Esteem?

•          Emotional Stability
–          Self-esteem is a better predictor of job performance than emotional stability.
•          Emotional stability comprises of things other than self-esteem that do not influence job performance
–          Self-esteem & emotional stability are related but not the same

•          Self-Efficacy
–          Capability to successfully perform a specific task
•          E.g., Handout items on presentation efficacy
–          Is a part but not all of self-esteem

What is Locus of Control?

General belief about control over reinforcement & environment. The extent to which inspaniduals believe they can control their life. Accepting responsibility v blaming others.

•          Validity
–          Related to job satisfaction
–          Predicts career advancement
–          Related to effective leadership behaviors
–          Leadership performance
–          Effective Performance in stressful situations

What is Not Locus of Control?

•          Self Esteem
–          Those who judge themselves as capable, significant & worthy also see themselves as controlling their environments

Specific Traits: Self-Monitoring

•          Self-monitoring
–          Extent to which you monitor, regulate &/or control behavior/appearance in social situations

•          Validity
•          Predicts preferences for role-playing type jobs like sales, law, public relations, politics etc.
•          Predicts career success
•          Leadership behaviors in highly verbal contexts

Ways to Describe Oneself

Goals, Motives & Values

• Goals:
•          Immediate causes of behavior
•          Concrete, specific ideal states

•   Motivations:
•          Abstract, global influences
•          Strivings driving multiple behaviors

•    Values:
•          Abstract guiding principles of behavior
•          Ultimate motives


•          Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation:
•          Intrinsic – Enjoy performing task itself, challenge of task performance

•          Extrinsic – Enjoy consequence of task performance (e.g., obtain reward or avoid punishment)
•          Validity
•          Jury is out…
–          i.e., Not clear if rewards reduce intrinsic motivation or just increase extrinsic motivation (topics of several student papers)

Why Become Self-Aware?

•          To improve performance
–          High performing managers were more self-aware

•          To manage yourself
–          Set appropriate goals, choose appropriate careers, manage stress

•          To understand differences between you and others
–          Understand why others react to you the way they do
–          Adapt your communication to others’ needs
–          Develop interpersonal skills

•          To accept your tendencies of behaving, thinking & feeling

27 בMay 2020

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