An Investigation of Self-Descriptions Based on Data Collected From Two Participants of Differing Age

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An Investigation of Self-Descriptions Based on Data Collected From Two Participants of Differing Age

Abstract ========

This research paper investigates the self-descriptions of two participants in the light of the findings of Morris Rosenberg (1979). Rosenberg suggested that younger children usually describe themselves in physical conditions, and older children/adults have a tendency to use character and relationship qualities.

Two participants were interviewed using a semi-structured style and the information obtained was divided into the four categories suggested by Rosenberg, either physical, character, relationships or inner. The information from the two participants was then
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Rosenberg’s study revealed that descriptors of younger children generally were physical in activity and characteristic, while older children used more character descriptors to identify themselves. He suggests that the older child refers more to relationships and inner qualities when describing the self.

Rosenberg also studied another feature of self-development, which he called “the locus of self-knowledge”. This involved the ability of a person to develop a self-governing sense of oneself, unconnected from figures in authority, especially parents. Rosenberg’s questioning sought to establish who knew the children better, themselves or their parents. He discovered that younger children were more likely to rely on another person as a guide to who they were. There was a thirty-five percent difference between the younger children compared to older children in placing the locus of self-knowledge with themselves. This means that as one gets older, there is more of an inner knowledge of oneself as a basis for the self rather than influences from parents and others in

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