“Self-Discrepancy: A Theory Relating Self and Affect” – Higgins (1987)

Multiple selves (review)

  • James (1890) – spiritual self vs. social self
  • Rogers (1960) – normative standard vs. ideal self
  • Schafer (1967), Piers & Singer (1971) – superego vs. ideal self (based on Freud)
  • Cooley (1902) – ideal self
  • Colby (1968) – wish-beliefs vs. value-beliefs

Self-discrepancy theory (Higgins)

Domains of self

  • actual self
  • ideal self
  • ought self

Standpoints on self

  • own
  • other

Self-state representations

  • actual/own – self-concept
  • actual/other – self-concept
  • ideal/own – self-guide
  • ideal/other – self-guide
  • ought/own – self-guide
  • ought/other – self-guide

Self-discrepancy types

  • actual/own vs. ideal/own – dejection* (disappointment, dissatisfaction, frustration)
  • actual/own vs. ideal/other – dejection (shame, embarrassment, downcast)
  • actual/own vs. ought/own – agitation** (fear, threatened, resentment)
  • actual/own vs. ought/other – agitation (guilt, self-contempt, uneasy)

Availability vs. accessibility

Tools/Methods (note to self)

  • Selves questionnaire (Higgins)
  • Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist (Zuckerman & Lubin, 1965)
  • Mood questionnaire w/ dejection & agitation
  • Socialization questionnaire w/ living up to parent ideals
  • Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (Watson & Friend, 1969)
  • Social Avoidance and Distress Scale (Watson & Friend, 1969)
  • Priming w/ imagining reaching/failing common standard
  • Ideal priming w/ describing parents’ ideal, change in hopes & aims
  • Ought priming w/ describing parents’ ought, change in beliefs
  • Non-matching priming w/ self-guide traits not matching self-concept
  • Mismatching priming w/ self-guide traits discrepant from self-concept
  • Yoked priming w/ self-guide/self-concept traits not appearing
  • Total verbalization time
  • Skin conductance (PHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE)

*dejection-related emotion: no real/possible +ive outcome

**agitation-related emotion: real/possible -ive outcome

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