Theories of Self Essay

Pages: 4 (1252 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Psychology

Human beings have always been consumed by a drive to define themselves in relation to some criteria. The present work is focused on analyzing theories of self in society, with special emphasis on intelligence theories and those that are insightful of the learning process.

In the course of establishing who they are exactly, individuals most frequently make use of some type of social activity for the purpose of unveiling and expressing the self. In this sense, people employ certain jobs, hobbies, arts, sporting activities, and forms of education that are meant to act as continuous expressions of who they are. Thus, the search for self is dependent on action, and it is the various activities that reveal who people are, through the talents and capacities that they may develop.

On the other hand, this essentially dynamic mechanism suggests that "the self may not be pre-given: it is not something hidden that we have to find, but something that has to be made" (Burkitt, 2008). Based on this statement, it can be concluded that in the course of his lifetime, an individual constantly defines and redefines, creates and recreates his self, which makes life a continuous learning process conditioned by intelligence.

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Carol Dweck was the first to identify two particular theories of intelligence derived from the process of learning, namely entity and incremental (Self-theories). Even though these theories of intelligence are opposites of each other and remain relatively stable for a person over time, they possess the quality of being interchangeable for the same individual throughout his lifetime. In terms of proportions, it is alleged that nearly "40% of adults and children endorse an entity theory of intelligence, about 40% endorse an incremental theory, and about 20% are undecided" (Dweck & Master, 2008).

Essay on Theories of Self Assignment

Entity theorists are those individuals who perceive intelligence as having a certain static value, being an unchangeable, fixed internal instrument, which cannot be outwardly influenced over time. This outlook, when applied to the educational process, has been found to cause learners to have a high desire to prove their selves to others, through behavior patterns designed for appearing smart and avoiding to seem unintelligent. Another risk that comes with this approach is the susceptibility to learned helplessness, meaning that students may feel that circumstances are outside of their control, and so easily give up when faced with challenges. Apart from that, they may even undertake extremely difficult tasks that would ensure failure, and thus justify it.

The entity theory stipulates that success or failure of an endeavor is automatically correlated to what is perceived to be an innate level of intelligence rather than personal effort, which may lead individuals into believing that failure occurs from a natural limitation of their intelligent capacities. Interestingly, Dweck claims that people with a long history of success may be predisposed to learn helplessness because they may equate their continuous success with an intrinsic high value of intelligence (Self-theories).

By contrast, the incremental theory is about perceiving intelligence as akin to a muscle which can be exercised through effort, and thus improved. Unlike entity theorists, incremental theorists maintain that an amount of effort put into the learning process, and into strategy development, undoubtedly increases the value of intelligence (Self-Theories). In this case, individuals shift their attention from what the outcome could potentially say about them, to what they can actually gain from tackling the challenge. Therefore, it becomes clear that these students take every opportunity to master obstacles, and so immediately invest much effort into evaluating and electing the best strategies to approach the task with. Considering the two theories related to intelligence in the learning process, it is visible that the first is correlated with external motivation and is decisively negative, whereas the latter is described as significantly… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Theories of Self" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Theories of Self.  (2013, August 7).  Retrieved October 31, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Theories of Self."  7 August 2013.  Web.  31 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Theories of Self."  August 7, 2013.  Accessed October 31, 2020.