Self-awareness and constructive functioning: Revisiting "the human dilemma."

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Self-awareness-the capacity to focus attention on oneself, and thus to self-evaluate-has a bad reputation in social-clinical psychology because of its ties to negative affect, depression, suicide, and dysfunction. Using Rollo May's (1967) analysis of "the human dilemma," we outline self-awareness's beneficial contributions to psychological functioning. Without self-awareness, people could not take the perspectives of others, exercise self-control, produce creative accomplishments, or experience pride and high self-esteem. Research suggests that the positive and negative facets of self-awareness are reconciled when people have reasonable self-standards and when they are optimistic about meeting their standards.

Additional Information

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 475-489
Language: English
Date: 2004
Self-awareness, Constructive functioning

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