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The development of self-awareness and shifts of Locus of self Knowledge: A small-scale investigative study into developmental sequences using comparison of semi-structured interviews.

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Introduction

Word count Abstract 128 Introduction 537 Method 366 Result 518 Discussion 532 Conclusion 95 Total 2176 Title: The development of self-awareness and shifts of Locus of self Knowledge: A small-scale investigative study into developmental sequences using comparison of semi-structured interviews. Abstract This study examines the theoretical framework of developmental sequences and self descriptions and its proposed idea that children?s sense of self change as they become older and more able to take into account the information about themselves available from other sources such as their social environment. A small-scale investigation into the ways children give self-descriptions and how the characteristics of these change with age was conducted by comparison of short interviews with two participants aged 8 and 16 years following a similar methodology to Rosenberg?s (1979) study of self description. Analysis of the material show that indeed there is evidence that older children tend to give accounts of themselves by using more inner characteristics and emotional traits then younger children providing support to existing research in the subject. Introduction The subject of development of identity has been a topic of intense debate amongst scholars in the field of child development. The multidimensionality of identity imposes that many external aspects are involved in its development like religious, cultural, social ethnic, therefore in order to develop and identity children must be able to take into account such aspects. ...read more.

Middle

At the top were the words ?Who am I? and below that were ten numbered lines, each beginning ?I...? The recording was paused while the children completed these descriptions. Subsequently, the participants were asked questions based on Rosenberg?s questions of self evaluation, self and others and ideal self as well as on the concept of Locus of self knowledge. Results Self descriptions The research question proposed by this study is that younger children rely on physical and character traits when giving accounts of themselves and this should progressively shift with age as they make more use of inner traits for self description. The categories proposed by Rosenberg and used in this study and the results in percentage of the accounts of the two participants are as seen in table 1 bellow. Category Percentages for Annie Percentages for Adam Physical 66 45 Character 33 18 Relationships 0 9 Inner 0 27 Percentages were rounded to the nearest null The results above clearly show that the younger participant (Annie) relies solely on physical and character traits to describe herself whereas the older participant (Adam) makes much more use of inner characteristics and relationship connections supporting the hypothesis proposed by this study. Locus of Self Knowledge Annie shows internal and external locus when she suggests that both her and her mother would know better about her Maths, acknowledging that her mother might not know that she is ?getting better every day?. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also the context of the interviews and the participants were selected in a Western society where emphasis is strong on individuality and independence (Tobin et al 1989 as cited in Miell and Ding 2005 pp130). Therefore this study should only be interpreted within the limits of its settings; however it gives interest to the possibility of further research with a broader cross-cultural selection of participants. Briefly, some methodological issues came up in the formulation of questions that could perhaps have had an impact however small on the results of this study; At times, both participants showed confusion regarding the questions asked. Perhaps a different wording would have been more appropriate. Conclusion This study supports ongoing theories of a gradual development of self awareness proving the initial research question suggested and the idea that identity is shaped by an interaction of cognitive factors with various external aspects like social, peer, religion etc? Due to methodological issues and small sample size it is impossible to offer conclusive support to the theory of Locus-of-self ?knowledge. In future, the field of developmental psychology could benefit from further research involving larger sample sizes of varied cultures as this study can only account for children based in the scope of western society Appendices: Appendix 1 ? Category analysis for Annie Appendix 2 ? Category analysis for Adam. Appendix 3 - Table of percentage comparison for Rosenberg?s categories in self evaluation. ...read more.

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