Self Studies: The Psychology of Self and Identity

Self Studies: The Psychology of Self and Identity

Self Studies: The Psychology of Self and Identity

Self Studies: The Psychology of Self and Identity

Synopsis

In this far-ranging study, Scheibe seeks an understanding of the self and personal identity. In doing so, he focuses on the various relationships of the self in social environments. He examines the major historical perspectives on the self, the process or processes of socialization, memory, and identity, and the psychology of national identity.

Excerpt

Texts and handbooks on human development offer their most assured generalizations about neonates and very young children. As behavior patterns and problems are discussed for each succeeding age level, generalizations become more and more highly qualified. The relative frequency of words like "if," "may," and "perhaps" increases markedly as puberty is discussed, and most texts give up the task of offering generalizations by age levels somewhere in the middle of adolescence. Parents are often amazed at the accuracy of description provided by Dr. Spock (1957). Young psychologists are equally amazed at how well Piaget (1952) generalizations about cognitive development seem to fit what is occurring in their own children. But no book on adolescence has the surety of Dr. Spock's book on baby care, and at adolescent stages of cognitive development--particularly the stage of "formal operations"--psychologists begin to bicker with Piaget about possible cultural or idiosyncratic restrictions in his generalizations about mental functioning. Age-bound generalizations about psychological functioning make a tentative appearance again at senescence. Geriatric psychology, properly a part of developmental psychology, begins to recapture some of the descriptive assurance of neonatal psychology, one end of life being as certain and simple as the other.

But in the mid-range of life the possibilities for variation are enormous. No single volume--indeed, no library--could provide a comprehensive description of the psychological possibilities associated with the thirtieth year of human life. A large part of the task of psychology is to render an . . .

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