Self-Concept is a collection of beliefs about oneself. Usually the self-concept answers “Who am I ? It is the image that we have of ourselves.”
It’s a mental image of who I am as a person. Beliefs such as “I’m a good boy”, or “I’m a good friend” or “I’m a kind person” are part of an overall self-concept. Self-concept is a cognitive or descriptive element of one’s own. E.g. I am a fast runner.
According to psychologist Hurlock, a person’s self-concept is an overall belief about his or her physical, mental, social, emotional characteristics as well as ambition and performance.
According to Carl Rogers, the self-concept has three different elements. They are-
i) Self Image,
ii) Self Esteem
iii) Ideal Self.
i) Self Image –
Self image is how you see yourself. It includes –
–How do you think?
– How do you view your personality?
– What kind of person do you think you are?
–What do others believe about you?
–How much do you like yourself or make others feel like you,
– You have the status you feel.
Self image helps you to be aware of your own strengths, weaknesses and limitations.
For example – when a student thinks that he is very strong in English but weak in mathematics and judge himself based on this introspection, it will be called self-image of the student.
ii) Self esteem: –
Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself or how much you value yourself.
Self image and self esteem are closely linked but they are not the same. Self image is how you see yourself and how you believe that others see you. Self-esteem depends on your own image. If you have a bad opinion of yourself, your self-esteem will be low.
For example, if a student thinks that he is a poor student, then no ambition in education will seen in that student. Here, this felling of the student about himself is his Self Esteem.
iii) Ideal Self: –
According to humanist psychologist Carl Rogers, your ideal self is what you want to be. Ideal Self is an ideal version of yourself that has developed over time based on what you have learned and experienced. The ideal self can include elements of what your parents have taught you, what society promotes, and what you think about your best interests.
For example, the parents of a student are doctors who are respected and admired in the society. Their experience tells their son that in order to be happy, he must need to be smart and have a high paying job. In this situation Ideal Self of the student might be someone who proficient in science subjects and spends a lot of time in studying.
Development of self-concept: –
Self-concept develops and changes throughout life. By the age of 3, kids have a very board sense about themselves. At this age they learn new words as part of language development and use words like big or nice or beautiful to describe themselves to others. It represents the beginning of self-concept.
At the age of 4 they started to see themselves as different and unique person.
By the age of 7 or 8, children are able to emotionally express their own feelings and abilities, as well as receive and consider feedback from peers, teachers and family.
At about 11 years of age, children begin to develop social self-esteem. This is why they often refer to social groups and start making social comparisons as well as thinking about how others see them.
Thus the development of self concept is going on.
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