Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the benefits and implications of studying the self from a social cognition perspective. First, it focuses on the representation of the self, reviewing classic issues such as whether the self-concept is qualitatively distinct in memory, the consequences of chronic self-knowledge, how self-concepts are produced and represented in memory, and how the self is composed of multiple, context-dependent self-aspects. Second, the chapter examines the self as an inherently social construct, discussing how individuals and groups become integrated into one’s self-concept, how chronicity and self-complexity are represented, how stereotype threat is triggered and affects the self, and how loneliness and ostracism are experienced. Third, the chapter considers the self in broader contexts that include its role in guiding self-regulation and goal pursuit and its being influenced by contextual factors such as lay theories and culture. In addition to improving our understanding of the cognitive underpinnings of the self, consideration of the representation of self-knowledge allows us to better appreciate the social nature of the self-concept.
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