SELF-DISCREPANCY THEORY 8
Analysing Self-Esteem through Self-Discrepancy Theory
Social psychology aims to explore the psychological processes that underlie the way in which individuals perceive themselves in relation to others. Self-discrepancy theory is an important concept that explains how perceptions of the self by an individual lead to assessments against others, and influence self-esteem. In this essay, two separate instances of personal observation are analysed through self-discrepancy theory in order to identify the causes for the behaviour and to analyse the responses of the individuals and others involved in the situation. Insights from the theory and research are applied to the two observations and the results are used to assess the utility of self-discrepancy theory to analyse such situations.
Description of Experiences
The first experience that I observed related to a student whom I saw on campus. As he was sitting with his friend and I was within hearing range, I was able to hear in on their conversation. He was talking about some problems in his family, mainly …show more content…
Self-discrepancy theory describes how individuals formulate conceptions about the self, and how this affects their psychological wellbeing. The theory is attributed to Tory Higgins (1987) who explained the concept of self-guides against which individuals compare their present self. The self-guide serves as a standard to which the individual may aspire. According to self-discrepancy theory, the distance between the present self of an individual and the standard has a certain kind of affect. When the distance between the current self and standard is less, a positive affect is created, and the individual feels satisfied. When the distance is large, a negative affect is created, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction in the