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An investigation of self-descriptions based on data collected from two participants of differing age, and how this age gap influences the focus of their self-descriptions based on the findings of Morris Rosenberg (1979)

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Andrea K Lait V0049493 ED209 TMA04 An investigation of self-descriptions based on data collected from two participants of differing age, and how this age gap influences the focus of their self-descriptions based on the findings of Morris Rosenberg (1979) Abstract This research paper investigates the self-descriptions of two participants in the light of the findings of Morris Rosenberg (1979). Rosenberg suggested that younger children usually describe themselves in physical conditions, and older children/adults have a tendency to use character and relationship qualities. Two participants were interviewed using a semi-structured style and the information obtained was divided into the four categories suggested by Rosenberg, either physical, character, relationships or inner. The information from the two participants was then contrasted to the findings of Rosenberg. The theory of locus of self-knowledge was also explored, which Rosenberg claimed changed from outer to inner relatedness, the older the individual gets. My findings did not entirely agree with Rosenberg's conclusions that with age there is a move away from physical descriptions, but there did appear a shift from locus of self-knowledge from parents to oneself, as age increased. Andrea K Lait V0049493 ED209 TMA04 Introduction This study explores the self-descriptions of two individuals in the context of the conclusions reached by Morris Rosenberg (1979) who originally study the work of Bannister and Agnew (1977). ...read more.


I obtained consent from the child's parents, and made it clear what my intentions were and the nature of my investigation. I stated that all information given would be treated in a confidential manner and the real names of the participants would not be used on any material. I conducted the interviews in a professional manner and thanked the participants for helping me to carry out the study. Andrea K Lait V0049493 ED209 TMA04 Results The results of the question "Who am I"? was firstly put into one of the four descriptions of Rosenberg's category's (see Appendix B) and the proportion of total coded responses that fall into each of the four categories was carried out. This was expressed as percentages and the results for each participant is shown diagrammatically in the form of Pie Charts (see Appendix C). The age gap between the two participants is 30 years, yet interestingly they both have the same percentage score for Physical traits, 60%. The scores for Inner and Character traits are both reduced by half in the older participant from 20% to 10%. Only Participant 2, the older of the two, had a score of 20% for Relationships. These initial results would indicate that the older one gets the greater there is a disposition to be more involved in relationships with others rather than concentrating solely on the self. ...read more.


This is reflected in Piaget's theory of cognitive development, which suggests that at about 12 years old there is a shift from the 'concrete operations' of development into the final stage of 'formal operations' (quoted in Chap. 7 Growth and change in Adolescence) This stage seems to be the point at which most adolescents start to construct an individual identity and are able to put into perspective knowledge and social ideas about what it is to become an adult and reflect purposefully on their self awareness. Andrea K Lait V0049493 ED209 TMA04 Conclusion To conclude, it can be seen from this investigation that one of Rosenberg's initial hypothesis that of locus of self-knowledge has been partly demonstrated to be correct, albeit the sample size was much smaller as well as the age of one participant being incompatible, with Rosenberg's study. My deduction is to suggest that younger children do indeed tend to describe themselves in terms of physical traits while adults rely more on relationships, although the shift from physical outward descriptions of the younger person to the more personal and inner behaviours of the older adult did not appear in these results. This study has highlighted the difficulty in trying to measure and explore the concept of self-image and locus of self-knowledge, and can only act as an indicator to the inner thoughts and feelings of an individual in the process of development. ...read more.

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Some psychological terms need to be more clearly defined. Structure of the research report was reasonably well done in the majority. 3*

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