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Dynamics in the stream of self-reflection

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Date Issued:
2002
Summary:
This work argues that the self can be viewed as a dynamical system, with lower-level cognitive and affective elements that interact over time giving rise to global patterns of thought and behavior. The underlying structural features of the self-system promote temporal variation in self-evaluation in the stream of thought. To capture the dynamics of self-evaluation, a refinement of the "mouse paradigm" is employed. This procedure assesses the stream of self-evaluative thought and thus provides insight into the global structural features of the self. The goals of this research were to establish the validity of the "mouse paradigm" and to explore the relationship between the structure and dynamics of the self as expressed in self-reflection. The "mouse paradigm" is a procedure where individuals talk about themselves and subsequently indicate the valence of their self-description using a computer mouse. Participants move the mouse pointer (towards a target in the center of the screen to indicate a positive self-evaluation and away from the target to indicate a negative self-evaluation) while listening to the previously recorded version of their self-description. This technique makes it possible to examine self-evaluation as it changes over time. In study 1, participants described themselves after exposure to various self-relevant memory primes (positive, negative, mixed, and no prime). Traditional measures of the structural features of the self were found to be systematically related to the dynamic properties of participants' mouse movements (distance from target, variance, rate of change, and time at rest). Also, the priming manipulations were found to significantly alter the valence and dynamic properties of participants' self-evaluation. Study 2 explored the relationship between individual differences in self-structure and susceptibility to external influence. Participants were asked to describe themselves from three different perspectives (ideal self, actual self, and feared self). Perspective taking was found to systematically alter the nature of participants' self-evaluations. Furthermore, participants with relatively "weak" self-structures were found to be more influenced by the perspective manipulation. In general, results suggest that global properties of self-structure are related to the temporal flow of self-evaluation. Furthermore, individual differences in self-structure result in different levels of susceptibility to extrinsic influence.
Title: Dynamics in the stream of self-reflection.
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Name(s): Buchholz, Christopher Thomas
Florida Atlantic University, Degree Grantor
Vallacher, Robin R., Thesis Advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2002
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 115 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This work argues that the self can be viewed as a dynamical system, with lower-level cognitive and affective elements that interact over time giving rise to global patterns of thought and behavior. The underlying structural features of the self-system promote temporal variation in self-evaluation in the stream of thought. To capture the dynamics of self-evaluation, a refinement of the "mouse paradigm" is employed. This procedure assesses the stream of self-evaluative thought and thus provides insight into the global structural features of the self. The goals of this research were to establish the validity of the "mouse paradigm" and to explore the relationship between the structure and dynamics of the self as expressed in self-reflection. The "mouse paradigm" is a procedure where individuals talk about themselves and subsequently indicate the valence of their self-description using a computer mouse. Participants move the mouse pointer (towards a target in the center of the screen to indicate a positive self-evaluation and away from the target to indicate a negative self-evaluation) while listening to the previously recorded version of their self-description. This technique makes it possible to examine self-evaluation as it changes over time. In study 1, participants described themselves after exposure to various self-relevant memory primes (positive, negative, mixed, and no prime). Traditional measures of the structural features of the self were found to be systematically related to the dynamic properties of participants' mouse movements (distance from target, variance, rate of change, and time at rest). Also, the priming manipulations were found to significantly alter the valence and dynamic properties of participants' self-evaluation. Study 2 explored the relationship between individual differences in self-structure and susceptibility to external influence. Participants were asked to describe themselves from three different perspectives (ideal self, actual self, and feared self). Perspective taking was found to systematically alter the nature of participants' self-evaluations. Furthermore, participants with relatively "weak" self-structures were found to be more influenced by the perspective manipulation. In general, results suggest that global properties of self-structure are related to the temporal flow of self-evaluation. Furthermore, individual differences in self-structure result in different levels of susceptibility to extrinsic influence.
Identifier: 9780493721934 (isbn), 11999 (digitool), FADT11999 (IID), fau:12588 (fedora)
Note(s): Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2002.
Subject(s): Self-evaluation
Self
Self-perception
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/11999
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.