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Information Processing: Self-Concept

Renee Edwards


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Self-concept plays an important role in →  information processing by facilitating the processing of self-relevant information, enhancing retrieval of relevant information, and influencing interpretations of information. As the more comprehensive construct, “self” includes identity, relationships, roles, personality (→  Personality and Exposure to Communication ; Personality Development and Communication ), and the physical body, as well as notions of agency and consciousness. “Self-concept” refers to one's personal identity or the body of knowledge that an individual holds about himself or herself, including self-esteem or self-evaluation. Varying attributes and conceptions of the self can explain differing responses in social situations. Concern with the self and self-concept is generally traced to the symbolic interactionists of the early 1900s (→  Symbolic Interaction ). In Human nature and the social order , Cooley (1902) introduced the notion of the “looking glass self,” which arises in response to the opinions of others about the self. In constructing a self, the individual imagines his or her →  Image in the mind of another person, imagines the other's judgment of the self, and responds emotionally in a positive or negative way. George Herbert Mead , author of Mind, self, and society (1934), argued that the structure of the self is a reflection of social processes. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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