Our mind is one of the greatest mysteries of our world
The way we think, perceive, and react to the changing environment have always been the most intriguing and desirable things to know for scientists. Psychology as a science that explores our mind has emerged not so long ago and began to develop rather rapidly. Such state of things was dictated by the growing interest to the inner world of a human being. Scientists wanted to know the natural laws and regularity of the human behavior. People needed to know how the brain works because of various reasons. The understanding of the human brain development and self-perception were among these reasons.
The concepts and theories were emerging during the decades of the human mind exploration. Scientists intruded into the most mysterious, incomprehensible, and unpredictable area of our existence (Suler). Since most of the common people did not understand these researches. In fact, these matters are so deep, still undiscovered, individual, and sometimes irrational that even modern people do not understand themselves as deeply as it is necessary to be free from different complexes, fears, and bad features of character (Suler).
However, the essence of human being is in its perception of itself and the environment that surrounds us. Only the combination of these two processes creates personality, influence the behavior, dictates particular actions. This paper is aimed to discover the concepts that give the understanding regarding the most important part of our self-perception – true self. In order to explore the topic and answer the question whether the human beings have a true self or not, the Erikson's theory of ego development and positioning theory are presented.
Since the beginning of human era, prehistoric people began to realize their personal differences. These differences were depicted in the changing social structure. The main concept of nature “the strongest wins” still guided people in their relations with each other. However, this situation began to change and eventually people felt that nature instincts were not the most important part in their behavior. They began to fill that they all were different and had different abilities. Thus, some of them became leaders, others followed as warriors, crafts men or priests. It were the first unconscious steps to self-understanding that made eventually the most captivating and mind-taking question “Who Am I” appear.
Scientific interest to this area began to appear at the dawn of 20th century
Social psychology as science developed between 1980s and 1990s of the past century. Such psychologist as Kurt Levin, Leon Festinger, Daryl J. Bem and others created number of theories that were aimed to put the various separate efforts to understand oneself to the scientific ground. Sartr and Abram viewed self-perception as major focus of human spiritual development.
It was done to systematize approaches and techniques to self-definition and self-determination of the person. This person`s self-understanding struggle got the name – self-concept. Scientists established that people are able to develop their self-concept using such theories and concepts as introspection, feedback from others, social comparison and self-perception.
Introspection is the process that implies the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, wishes and sensations. Such self-observation is very important in self-understanding because thus we can hear our thoughts and wishes to be able to make conclusions of what they are and why we think this way but not another (Wilson & Keil). The theory of social comparison proposed by Leon Festinger in 1954 explains the process of evaluation of oneself’ opinions and desires by comparing oneself to other individuals (Myers). This theory concerns cornerstones of individual psychology and appeals to our everlasting subconscious desire to compare our behavior, look, opinions and wished with other peoples’ same things.
Self-perception theory evaluates attitude change
It means that various people develop their attitudes while they observing personal behavior and make certain conclusions and decide what attitudes must have caused such behavior. (Bem) This is the key theory for self-understanding because we are what we do and only our behavior can push us to understand inner motives of our actions. (Myers)
Applying all these theories to my self-concept of “Who Am I” I have chosen such fields of further self-improvement as procrastination, studying more and being more focus and attentive it the class. These things are important to me and I will work on their improvement because of particular reasons. Procrastination is really bad habit that usually makes me feel uncomfortable when something important is supposed to be done and I do not do it on time.
When the deadline comes, it makes me rush to complete my tasks on time. This situation makes me nervous and I understand that this is only my fault. So I compared my behavior with the behavior of my friends and relatives that don’t have such problem. They look happier than I do so I decided to change it because it cannot last any longer and destroy my nervous system.
In addition, I have decided to study more
During the course of social psychology, I began to look into my soul and figure out that I really want to be successful in future. It was not a surprise for me because everybody wants to be successful. However, I understood that I have to do something today if I want gain success in future. Thus, I have to change my behavior and concentrate on studying. Such change of course must improve my chances to get into prestigious college and have proper education. Which by-turn will let me get the decent job and be able for self-realization as a professional. My future is too important to me so I cannot let matters take their course in my life.
According to the decision to study, more I was not able to leave behind such important part of realization of this process as attention in class. Since I have decided to learn more and be more successful in future, I have to pay more attention to the process of education. I must be more focused in classes to get more information and understand it properly. This is the only way for me to make all my decisions come true. All the changes that I have decided to perform are in my head, as the matter of fact. I understand that they must be consecutive to make me better.
I have decided that if I do not know if I can make I will look at my colleagues that are successful in studying. Their behavior will be my model to follow. Thus, I will change not only my attitude to studying but eventually my overall academic results as well. The way I have chosen is not the easiest but otherwise I will not be better and might not be able to achieve my goals. Changes is the only way to develop and well understanding of who am I is the key to succeed on my way to improvements.