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date: 21 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how the self both creates and results from experience. Metatheoretically, it examines how social and personality psychologists conceive of and study the self, using the topic of self-esteem to illustrate typical views of the self as dispositional characteristics of persons, the product of situations, or the interaction between them. The Person × Situation framework has stimulated research and had heuristic value for social and personality psychologists who study the self. But because it views both the person and the situation as static rather than the result of dynamic processes, it fails to account for how people and situations mutually create each other in a process that unfolds over time. Through dynamic processes of reciprocal influence, the self can change rapidly—change sustained by the situations people create for themselves over time. Methodological approaches in personality and social psychology to test these dynamic models of the self are considered.

Keywords: self-esteem, relationships, goals, motives, contingencies, self-transcendence, compassion

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