How different people tend to descibe themselves

This research paper aims to research farther into the self-descriptions of two participants associating to the findings of Morris Rosenberg ( 1979 ) . Rosenberg stated that younger kids by and large describe themselves in physical conditions, i.e. activity and features, whereas older kids and grownups more frequently use character traits and relationship mentions.

Two participants were interviewed utilizing a semi-structured manner and the information collected was so divided into four classs cited by Rosenberg, which are ; physical, character, relationships and inner. The information from the two participants was so compared to the findings of Rosenberg. Then self-evaluation, ego and others, ideal ego and venue of self-knowledge was besides discussed, as Rosenberg said that these besides alteration as we get older.

My findings do ascent with Rosenberg ‘s consequences that as we get older we do non utilize physical descriptions as much, and my findings besides agree that there does look to be a displacement from venue of self-knowledge from parents to the ego with age.




This survey researches into the self-descriptions of two people associating to the findings this covered by Morris Rosenberg ( 1979 ) , who worked off the consequences from Bannister and Agnew ( 1977 ) . They originally noted that “ kids bit by bit become better able to separate themselves psychologically from others as they get older and besides go more capable of believing about themselves in different ways ” . ( 1 ) Rosenberg expands on this by recommending that immature kids depict themselves in footings of animalism, activities and behavior, whilst older kids and grownups use character and relationships more psychologically.

Rosenberg interviewed a sample of 8 to 18 twelvemonth olds indiscriminately from 25 schools. He asked the participants inquiries “ Who am I? ” and so classified the replies given into four classs. These are ; Physical – descriptions of physical characteristics or physical activities ; Character – descriptions of personality, emotional features and emotional control ; Relationships – descriptions of relationships with others and interpersonal traits ; and, Inner – descriptions of emotions, attitudes, wants, beliefs and secrets, such as self-knowledge. ( 2 )

Rosenberg ‘s survey found that the descriptions from younger kids were placed on physical efforts and features, while older kids used more character descriptions about themselves, therefore back uping that older kids refer more to relationships and interior qualities.

Rosenberg to boot looked at the “ venue of self-knowledge ” . This refers to how kids develop an independent, self-reflective sense of ego, separate from others, i.e. parents. Rosenberg asked inquiries to seek to determine who knew the kids best, themselves or their parents. He found that younger kids were more likely to trust on another individual as a mention point to who they are, with merely 15 % puting the venue of self-knowledge within themselves, compared with about 50 % of the older kids. ( 2 ) . So, as the kids get older there is a displacement that we know ourselves more than others, for illustration, parents, instructors, etcetera.

To look into further into Rosenberg ‘s findings a semi-structured interview was carried out to achieve information from participants. The replies are so put into the four classs, which has proven hard to make, particularly as some replies could travel into several of the classs, i.e. what I have placed into one class could hold gone into a different one rather easy. Furthermore, another individual may besides construe the replies otherwise and set them into a contrasting class every bit good. Furthermore, older kids may give a false reply to a inquiry so that it might do them look better, and they may infer the reply that they feel the interviewee is looking for. The hypothesis is to set up if a younger kid will utilize more physical self-descriptions and have a venue of self-knowledge from others, compared to older kids who will depict themselves utilizing interior qualities and have more of their ain venue of self-knowledge.





The survey is aimed at demoing how self-descriptions can modify as we get older. The inquiries asked were designed by The Open University to double that of Rosenberg ‘s. First, the two participants were asked “ Who am I? ” so that they could do a manus written list of at least 10 self-descriptions about themselves. The replies were so divided into one of the four of Rosenberg ‘s classs of either ; Physical ( P ) , Character ( C ) , Relationships ( R ) or Inner ( I ) . ( See Appendix A and B ) A semi-structured interview was so carried out to acquire more information from the two participants of their venue of self-knowledge.


Two people took portion in the survey, one female and one male. The research worker did non cognize either of them. The female is 8 old ages old and the male is 16 old ages old. The interviews were carried out on an single and confidential footing.


Both participants were given the same sheets to compose on for “ Who am I? ” inquiries and provided with pens and trim paper if needed. Besides, a tape recorded was used to enter the interviews with both participants.


The participants were informed that the replies must be every bit honorable as possible, and that there were no right or incorrect replies. The participants were made to experience at easiness and every bit comfy as could be throughout the interview, which is why composing the replies down at the beginning of the interview was a good thought and an ice-breaker, than traveling consecutive for the semi-structured manner of interview instantly. The semi-structured interview was recorded and brief notes were besides made by the interviewee.


The interviews were carried out in conformity with The British Psychological Society ‘s codification of behavior for psychologists. Consent was obtained from the kid ‘s parents and they were debriefed before the interviews took topographic point. All the information maintains confidential and other than their first names used, no farther personal information is used. The interview was conducted in a professional mode.




The consequences of the inquiries sheets “ Who am I? ” were put into the Rosenberg ‘s four classs ( see Appendix A and B ) , so the proportion of the sum coded responses that fall into each of the four classs was carried out. This can be shown more clearly in the pie charts ( see Appendix C and D ) . There is merely an 8 twelvemonth age spread between both participants, but the tonss for physical traits were both high. The tonss for inner and character traits are both higher by half for the older participant, and merely the older kid shows marks of being more involved in relationships with others than the younger kid.

Mentioning to development tendencies in venue of self-knowledge the replies to “ Who am I? ” do demo a tendency towards the older participant ( Appendix B ) holding a venue of self-knowledge relating to themselves, as these inquiries were wholly answered as the “ ego ” , compared to the younger kid, other replies related to others, chiefly parents. So, these consequences do confirm Rosenberg ‘s consequences that “ there is a displacement with age in the venue of self-knowledge from of import others, particularly the parent, to the ego ” . ( 2 )

There is besides a few differences in self-evaluation, the younger child focal points chiefly on their ain physical strengths and failings, for illustration, ears and legs, whereas the older kid focuses on inner traits, for illustration, being accessible and friendly. The ideal ego is manifested in the younger kid about what occupation they would wish to make when they are older and is non looked at in footings of personality, character or interior traits, and the older kid in contrast wants to make a peculiar occupation as it would be gratifying and interesting.




The probe shows that both participants chose descriptions more towards the physical traits of Rosenberg ‘s classs, it decreased somewhat with age as Rosenberg postulated. Although this is a really over-generalised and simplistic set of findings, as merely two participants were studied. Besides, like Rosenberg ‘s consequences, mine besides agreed with the venue of self-knowledge that as people get older the venue of self-knowledge comes more from within us psychologically, than from others. The younger kid accepts that others, for illustration, their ain parents, have knowledge about themselves, but non needfully from other people they know. Therefore, when asked “ Who knows you better? ” the right reply, although there is no specific right or incorrect replies, should hold geared towards their instructor as a response given that at the clip the kid was in school, but when out of school, the kid ‘s parents would cognize them better. In stating this, the younger kid is cognizant that an appropriate grownup knows about them like they do. This makes sense as it is through parents that kids get to cognize themselves.

The chief concern I associated with this survey is categorizing the kids ‘s descriptions of “ Who am I? ” into the four classs Rosenberg suggested, more so as the interviewee and research worker were two different people who did non meet at any clip to discourse the survey. It might hold been more productive and valid if the classification had been done by two different people, and so got together to see what was put where and the logical thinking behind the chosen classs. This process may good hold diminished the border of mistake and biased consequences from the research worker, as the research worker can act upon the consequence by seeking to put self-descriptions into certain classs to accomplish a coveted and more favorable consequence. A fillip is that the interviewee did non cognize what consequences were expected, and besides the research worker and interviewee did non cognize either of the participants, so there was no bias in that regard. But, the consequences can non be wholly deemed to be realistic given these fortunes.

Erik Erikson ( 1904-1994 ) regarded adolescence as an of import phase in the development of individuality and so physical descriptions about ourselves is where we start to place who we are and so we build ourselves, i.e. our personality traits from at that place. ( 3 ) Cultural differences besides need to be considered, as in Western societies/cultures “ Who am I? ” may be based on life experiences, instruction and societal activities, these all vary for each state to the following. Besides, clip differences need to be taken into consideration, as we all change as we get older and constantly wiser, so a longitudinal survey may be a valid idea.

The first participant, the younger kid referred to chiefly physical traits, whereas the 2nd participant, the older kid was every bit concerned with both physical and interior traits, so life experiences and personality traits may play a critical function. This is agreed by Piaget ‘s theory of cognitive development ( 4 ) , which states that at about 12 old ages old there is a supplanting from the “ concrete operations ” phase for development into the concluding phase of “ formal operations ” . This ulterior phase is where older kids start to compose their ain individuality and therefore are able to set into context eruditeness and societal thoughts about what it is to go an grownup and manifest on their ain ego.




To reason, the consequences from this peculiar piece of research show that Rosenberg ‘s initial hypothesis of venue of self-knowledge has been deemed to be acceptable, even though it has been shown on a really little graduated table from merely two participants. I concur that younger kids do hold a inclination to depict themselves physically while older kids and grownups rely on relationships with others and on their ain inner ideas and feelings, so this supports Rosenberg ‘s theory about a displacement from physical self-descriptions when we are younger to more elaborate character and interior behaviors of when we are older. Therefore, in retrospect Rosenberg ‘s 1979 survey is still relevant over 30 old ages subsequently for these consequences. But, it is still burdensome to mensurate and research the construct of self-image and venue of self-knowledge merely from these consequences. Inner feelings and ideas are abstruse to measure on persons, particularly seeking to happen out how persons think about themselves and others, and when utilizing merely four classs.



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