Our self concept develops in several ways. One way is through self-appraisal. Think of self-appraisal as looking into a mirror and reading your biography. “I am 5-7”, I have brown hair, I’m a father, I am a teacher,” are examples of the conclusions I might reach through self-appraisal.. Though self-appraisal is pretty objective (one can’t argue the fact that I’m a teacher, for example), there are subjective elements, too (but how good of a teacher I am is rather subjective).
Reflected-appraisal is the idea that we each develop our self concept in a manner that matches the way we believe others see us and react to us. For example, if people respond to us as if we are stupid or incompetent, then we might begin to think of ourselves as stupid or incompetent, regardless of our actual levels of competence.
Another way we develop our self concept is through social comparison. Here, the concept is that we develop the way we value ourselves by how we compare, or measure up to others. This could be our friends, coworkers, movie stars, models, sports figures, and so on. For example, every time we look in a magazine and see those perfectly sculpted bodies modeling clothing, we realize (at least most of us less-than-perfectly-sculpted people, that we don’t measure up.) This could lead to unhealthy feeling of inadequacy. We can believe, due to this comparison, that we are less than OK.
1. There are important characteristics of self concept that are helpful to understand. One is that the self concept is very subjective. In other words, our self concept may be based less on reality, and more on obsolete or distorted information.
2. Another characteristic of self concept is that it resists change. Despite the fact that we all change, there is a strong tendency to hold fast to an existing self concept, even if it is now outdated