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University of San Agustin

College of Liberal Arts Sciences and Education


Department of Psychology
GE 7: Understanding the Self
1

COURSE NOTES

MANAGING AND CARING FOR THE SELF

Knowing the “self” is not enough


- “who we are” is partly made up of our choices
- YOU Must also have the ability to choose especially to be a better YOU.

I. METACOGNITION
 “thinking about thinking” (Livingston 1997; Papaleontiou-Louca 2003)
 It is an awareness of the scope and limitations of your current knowledge and skills.
 It enables the person to adapt their existing knowledge and skills to approach a learning task
seeking for the optimum result of the learning experience.
 It also includes keeping one’s emotions and motivations while learning in check.

ASPECTS of METACOGNITION
 Self- Management- the mental process you employ using what you have in planning and
adapting to successfully learn or accomplish a certain task.
 Self- Appraisal- your personal reflection on your knowledge and capabilities

Variables that affect the assessment of self as a thinker:


 Personal Variable- evaluation of strength and weaknesses
 Task Variable- evaluation of the nature of the task and strategies the task requires
 Strategy variables- strategies or skills you already have in dealing with certain task.

Things to do in order to exercise metacognition:


 Knowing your limits
 Modifying your approach
 Skimming
 Rehearsing
 Self-Test

Things that can be use in studying:


 Make an outline
 Break down the task
 Integrate variation in schedule and learning experience
 Try to incubate your ideas
 Revise, summarize, and take down notes, then reread them
 Engaged what you have learned
University of San Agustin
College of Liberal Arts Sciences and Education
Department of Psychology
GE 7: Understanding the Self
2

II. GOAL SETTING

One must consider the following characteristics of effective and efficient goal setting:

Goal Setting Theory (Edwin A. Locke)

 first described that the approach of goal setting theory is based on what Aristotle called final
causality; that is, action caused by a purpose.
 It accepts the axiomatic status of consciousness and volition.
 It also assumes that introspective reports provide useful and valid data for formulating
psychological concepts and measuring psychological phenomena (e.g., purpose, goal
commitment, self-efficacy).

Attributes of Goals:
1. The more difficult the goal, the greater the achievement.
2. The more specific or explicit the goal, the more precisely performance is regulated.
3. Goals that are both specific and difficult lead to the highest performance.
4. Commitment to goals is most critical when goals are specific and difficult.
5. High commitment to goals is attained when:
a. the individual is convinced that the goal is important;
b. the individual is convinced that the goal is attainable (or that, at least, progress can be
made toward it).
6. In addition to having a direct effect on performance, self-efficacy influences:
University of San Agustin
College of Liberal Arts Sciences and Education
Department of Psychology
GE 7: Understanding the Self
3

a. the difficulty level of the goal chosen or accepted;


b. commitment to goals;
c. the response to negative feedback or failure; and
d. the choice of task strategies.
7. Goal setting is most effective when there is feedback that shows progress in relation to the goal.
8. Goal setting (along with self-efficacy) mediates the effect of knowledge of past performance on
subsequent performance.
9. Goals affect performance by affecting the direction of action, the degree of effort exerted, and
the persistence of action over time.
10. Goals stimulate planning in general.
11. When people strive for goals on complex tasks, they are least effective in discovering suitable
task strategies if:
a. they have no prior experience or training on the task;
b. there is high pressure to perform well; and
c. there is high time pressure (to perform well immediately).
12. Goals (including goal commitment), in combination with self-efficacy, mediate or partially
mediate the effects of several personality traits and incentives on performance.
13. Goal-setting and goal-related mechanisms can be trained and/or adopted in the absence of
training for the purpose of self-regulation.
14. Goals serve as standards of self-satisfaction, with harder goals demanding higher
accomplishment in order to attain self-satisfaction than easy goals. Goals can also be used to
enhance task interest, reduce boredom, and promote goal clarity. When used to punish or
intimidate people.

Self-efficacy Theory (Albert E. Bandura)

- Self Efficacy refers to people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of
performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives.
-based on the assumption that psychological procedures serve as a means of creating and
strengthening expectation of personal efficacy.”

 outcome expectancy is “a person’s estimate that a given behavior will lead to certain
outcomes.”
 efficacy expectation is “the conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior
required to produce the outcomes.”

ACTS OF PEOPLE WITH “HIGH ASSURANCE IN THEIR CAPABILITIES”


a. approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered;
b. set challenging goals and maintain strong commitment to them;
c. heighten or sustain efforts in the face of failures or setbacks;
d. attribute failure to insufficient effort or deficient knowledge and skills which are acquirable;
and
University of San Agustin
College of Liberal Arts Sciences and Education
Department of Psychology
GE 7: Understanding the Self
4

e. approach threatening situation with assurance that they can exercise control over them

ACTS OF PEOPLE WITH “DOUBT THEIR CAPABILITIES”


a. shy away from tasks they view as personal threats;
b. have low aspirations and weak commitment to goals they choose to pursue;
c. dwell on personal deficiencies, obstacles they will encounter, and all kinds of adverse
outcomes, rather than concentrating on how to perform successfully;
d. slacken their efforts and give up quickly in the face of difficulties;
e. are slow to recover their sense of efficacy following failure or setbacks; and
f. fall easy victim to stress and depression.

MAIN SOURCES OF INFLUENCE BY WHICH A PERSON’S SELF-EFFICACY IS DEVELOPED AND


MAINTAINED:
a. performance accomplishments or mastery experiences;
b. vicarious experiences;
c. verbal or social persuasion; and
d. physiological (somatic and emotional) states.

Two types of mindsets (Carol S. Dweck):


 Fixed Mindset People who believe that success is based on their innate abilities have a
“fixed” theory of intelligence
Fixed-mindset individuals dread failure because it is a negative statement on their basic
abilities

 Growth Mindset
people who believe that success is based on hard work, learning, training, and perseverance
have growth theory of intelligence .
individuals do not mind or fear failure as much because they realize their performance can be
improved and learning comes from failure.

STRESS
It is defined as the body’s nonspecific response to any demand or threat, whether it is caused
by or results in pleasant or unpleasant stimuli.
Said to be marked by physiological arousal and in some cases reduced resistance to illnesses
(Sdorow,1995).

Stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. It is an automatic process known as the
flight-fight reaction.
University of San Agustin
College of Liberal Arts Sciences and Education
Department of Psychology
GE 7: Understanding the Self
5

Types of Stress:

a. Eustress comes from the Greek root “eu” which means good as in euphoria. Eustress is
when a person perceives a stressor as positive.
1) Put people in their mettle;
2) it increases alertness, improves sight, strengthens muscles & reduces reaction time,
3) Adds zest to life by stimulating the senses and the passions, and
4) increases our ability to stand and fight or turn and flee and to mobilize all our
resources to achieve whatever we decide to do.

b. Distress stems from the Latin root “dis” as in dissonance or disagreement. Distress is a
threat to the quality of life. It is when a demand vastly exceeds a person’s capabilities.
The negative effects of stress are evident when stress remains in the body usually,
when there is a chance to take the necessary steps to release a stress response that is too
strong or too long.

General Stress Syndrome (GSS) affects the whole body. Stress always manifests itself by a
syndrome, a sum of changes, and not by simply one change

General Stress Syndrome three components:


1. The alarm stage – represents a mobilization of the body’s defensive forces.
2. The stage of resistance – the body becomes adaptive to the challenge and even
begins to resist it.
3. The exhaustion stage – the body dies because it has used up its resources of
adaption energy.

Stress Symptoms:
 headaches  lack of energy
 asthma  withdrawal from friends
 peptic ulcers  anxiety
 chronic skin rashes  crying episodes
 hypertension  poor concentration
 palpitations  Forgetfulness
 chest pain

Causes of Stress:
 Environmental Stressors  Workplace Stressors
 Family-related stressors  Physical Stresso

Effect of Stress
University of San Agustin
College of Liberal Arts Sciences and Education
Department of Psychology
GE 7: Understanding the Self
6

On your body On your mood On your behavior


Headache Anxiety Overeating or under eating
Muscle tension or pain Restlessness Angry outbursts
Chest pain Lack of motivation or focus Drug or alcohol abuse
Fatigue Irritability or anger Tobacco use
Change in sex drive Sadness or depression Social withdrawal
Stomach upset
Sleep problems

COPING WITH STRESS

A. Removing Stress
The effective way to control is to eliminate the stressors from your life

B. Cognitive Coping
refers to our ability to change how we think about or interpret the events that affects our
lives.

C. Managing Stress
Managing stress reactions through exercise, relaxation or join-management programs.

Tip # 1: Recognize warning signs of excessive stress


a. Self-awareness is the foundation of stress management
b. Become aware of stress by observing your muscles, insides and your breath

Tip # 2: Reduce Stress through Self-Care


a. Exercise
b. Socialize and Connect with Others
c. Take Breaks, Time away
d. Make Healthy Food and Drink Choices
e. Avoid Drinking, Smoking or Taking Pills or Drugs to Relax
f. Practice Healthy Sleeping Habits
g. Enjoy Cultural, Spiritual and Social Activities
h. Look for humor
i. Know your limits
j. Create a balanced schedule

SELF COMPASSION THERAPY


University of San Agustin
College of Liberal Arts Sciences and Education
Department of Psychology
GE 7: Understanding the Self
7

a. It entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer , fail or feel inadequate
rather than flagellating ourselves with self- criticism.
b. It recognizes that being imperfect and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so we soothe and
nurture ourselves when confronting our pain rather than getting angry when life falls short of our
ideas.

Self- compassion Phrases


 This is a moment of suffering….
 Suffering is part of life
 May I be kind to myself
 May I give myself the compassion I need

Ineffective coping techniques:

1. Withdrawal- e.g. Death of loved one could be stressful. This can lead to withdrawal from
friends.
2. Aggression or Hostility- becoming hostile to the source of stress
3. Use of Defense Mechanisms- Freud: these are unrealistic strategies used by the ego to
discharge tensions (Carlson, et. al., 1998)
a. Repression-The unconscious forgetting of certain painful or dangerous thoughts or feelings.
b. Fantasy -Escape from frustration by retreating into a world of make believe.
c. Reaction Formation-A tendency to conceal a motive from one’s self by giving strong expression
of the opposite motive.
d. Denial-Refusal to admit the existence of a reality too painful or unpleasant to face.
e. Rationalization-Tendency to give plausible and acceptable reasons to one’s own failures.
1. Sour grapes(ing) – puts (putting) down something simply because they can’t have it
2. Sweet lemon – insisting that something unpleasant is in fact desirable especially if it was
actively sought for earlier.
f. Projection- Attributing one’s unacceptable motives or characteristics to others.
g. Sublimation- Channeling frustrated urges into substitutive activities.
h. Compensation- Endeavors to make up for some weakness in one area by excelling in another.