ACT English Tutorial
Essay Writing Example: Defining Self-Concept
To create a clear expository essay, begin with a list of verifiable facts and quotes from recognized experts. Progressive steps of organizing, prioritizing, and clarifying information should conclude with a concise summary of previous material and any final observations or conclusions.
Philosophers have grappled with analyzing the meaning of self for millennia. Most would probably agree that the quintessential experience of self-awareness defines the special status of being human—at least as humans perceive themselves. In the last two centuries, science-influenced disciplines of psychology, sociology, and interpersonal communication have also undertaken the delineation of self-hood. Child psychiatrists Stanley Greenspan and Nancy Greenspan identified the first phase of self-recognition as occurring as early as nine to eighteen months of age, when a child begins to consciously coordinate their behaviors with their emotional states (Crandell, Crandell, & Zander, 2012, p. 165).
Theory of Mind (ToM) proponents have asserted that until the awareness that others possess thoughts and knowledge separate from oneself is reached, a child is unable to correctly distinguish between self and environment (Owens, 2012, p. 76). Most scholars seem to agree that the general tendency to develop from an undifferentiated view of self to a well-established sense of selfhood is crucial to normal human maturation.
To define self-concept in an older individual—someone past the initial developmental of ToM and self-differentiation from the environment—the subjects of self-worth, self-identity and perceived opinions of others towards self, should be considered. The roots of self-esteem, defined as valuing one’s self, are planted by others. Primary caregivers greatly shape a child’s ability to feel good about self and feel good about others by how they treat and interact with the young child (Wood, 2013, p. 40).
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