Your Self-Schema

Everyone holds very different self-schemas that are influenced heavily by childhood, all past experiences, relationships and marriage, religion, social circles, culture - and so on. Who we are and our self-perceptions are heavily influenced by how we were raised, how we interact with others, and the reaction and feedback that we receive collectively from society.

Just as we have ideas and beliefs about other people, we hold true the very same about ourselves. The cognitive structures, refered to as Schema, a term that refers to our perception and knowledge about everything around us. Perception and knowledge that we hold about the world around us holds the very same toward our own individual self - and is called-- Self-Schema.

How we expect ourselves to feel, think, react and behave in specific settings and toward certain situations is comprised of all of our overall perceptions of ourselves - as well as our knowledge of our past experiences in similar situations - including, what we may have been programmed to think and believe.





Let's say just for an example that you grew up being told that you are "just big-boned." You will develop believing that you are bigger and when you go to your closet to pick something out to wear, you know that you're likely to choose something that is going to cover up (or at least what you feel and believe will cover up) exactly what you feel "big" about. You can predict this. When you go shopping for new clothes, you already know what kind of clothes you are looking for. You can predict this behavior. If you are either shy or extroverted and you are going to a party with a large crowd, you know exactly how you will behave. You can predict this, as well. This is your Self-Schema.

Among many other things, people can also hold self-schema about:

Physical characteristics

('I'm handsome and fit,' 'I'm ugly and too fat.')

Interests

('I like football,' or 'I love Yoga')

Personality traits

('I'm an introvert and don't like people,' 'I'm sociable and love huge groups')

Behaviors

(Confrontational --or runs like hell from conflict)


​Those who seem to be extreme in a certain area, they are most often described as being self-schematic. Example: a person who believes that they are very sociable and not a bit timid or shy are considered to be self-schematic, in that regard. If a person does not hold a schema for a particular area, they are deemed aschematic.

​​​​​​​​​Most of these schemas used above in the examples involve a dual polarity, as you probably have noticed ... one being the opposite of the other. People will often think of themselves as either/or traits, but the reality is that most people are usually somewhere in the middle of two extremes.


The entire platinum-collection of our self-schemas form our self-concept. Our self-concept tends to be complicated and a bit irrational---which is not exactly surprising since we try learn about and analyze ourselves probably more than anything or anyone else. In addition, we are always adding onto and making continued adjustments to our self-schemas on an hourly and day-to-day basis. We're pretty complex creatures here in the temporal world.

The Future You

Self-schemas are held about who we are right now at this moment and about who we will be in the future, These reflect how we think we will turn out or want to turn out in the coming years, which may involve both positive and negative ideas and expectations about our future selves.

DeLamater and Meyers (2011) suggests, "Our self-schema is produced in our social relationships. Throughout life, as we meet new people and enter new groups, our view of self is modified by the feedback we receive from others." Based off of feedback from parents and caregivers, our initial self-schemas form in early childhood, in our most tender years.

Alright - so, now we understand that we ALL have self-schemas about how we think, feel, act, react, etc. - but how much do these ideas really influence how we behave? When you believe you are self-schematic on a certain aspect, you're likely to perform very well in relation to it. Generally, those who feel to be self-schematic for either independence or dependence are much faster at relating to terms associated with those particular traits than people who felt they were aschematic in those areas.



Miss Quantum's Self-Help Exercise:

Get an upfront peek at your own self-schemas so you know exactly what they are - or what might exist. This will benefit not only consciousness- but it will greatly help improve with clearing blocks which is necessary for manifestation.

You are only providing these answers to yourself and not to another person: either get a piece of paper or open up your writing program on your electronic device - write down 20 various answers to 'who you are.' Who are you? Don't spend a lot of time thinking on them - you don't want to put it under a psychological-microscope, per se. Just be real with yourself, go with it - and write them down. Once you are done, you should have a fairly good representation of some of your core self-schemas and will be able to identify any issues that you might want to consider working on.


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Research Sources:

Crisp, R. J., & Turner, R. N. Essential social psychology. London: Sage Publications; 2012.

DeLamater, J., & Myers, D. Social psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning; 2011

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