N302 Ch 4 terms


Reflects the degree to which one feels valued, important, or satisfied with the concept of self.

Self-concepts do the following:

Help explain behaviorProvide a conceptual framework for decision makingShape expectations for the futureProvide bridges to meaning

Body image

Represents the physical dimension of self-concept and a person's first awareness of self. The perceptions of the body and its associated elements, not its reality, make up body image.

Alterations in body image

More subtle variations (as opposed to visible changes in physical characteristics) related to loss of body function, loss of control, and deviations from the norm.


A personal identity construct by which a person transforms external sensory data into personalized images of reality.

Distorted reality

When perceptions are colored by unresolved past conflicts or by simple misunderstandings, they contribute to a sense of self not based in reality.

Selective attention

When a person hears selected parts of a message and fails to absorb other parts because of defensive self needs

Self-fulfilling prophecy

When a person's perceptions of a certain outcome actually influence the person's present and future behaviors.


A cognitive process that produces a thought or thoughts that then lead to a feeling about a situation.