Self-perception theory was developed by sociologist Dr. Daryl Bem in a book entitled “What’s the Matter With Attitudes?” He states that human beings develop their attitudes based on observing their behavior around other people and determining what attitudes must be present to cause it.
What is Self Perception?
For example, if you are having difficulty with something at work, then you may become overly focused on your job and fail to notice other people or events that may be causing your feelings of failure.
The Theory of Self Perception
The theory of self-perception says that we develop our attitudes to fit the reality of the situation in which we find ourselves.
This also explains why we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. We have developed a set of beliefs based on our negative experiences and those beliefs then become beliefs of our thoughts.
Self-perception does not deny the power of feelings, emotions, and behavior. Rather, it acknowledges that these influences can be both positive and negative.
To illustrate, a negative attitude toward someone, even if not real, is still a feeling that can be felt by an individual. A feeling such as “I want out” is also a negative attitude toward another person. The same is true for negative behaviors.
Why Self Perception?
- Self perception is very useful to help people determine what their actual intentions are when it comes to situations they find difficult.
- Once you recognize the behaviors and emotions that can lead to failure, you will be able to recognize the feelings that cause you to fail and therefore gain a greater understanding of the feelings that may cause you to succeed.
- An example of this may be if you are trying to lose weight. It may seem like you are able to lose weight through exercise and a healthy diet. However, if your goal is to become healthier by getting a lower weight, then you will want to make sure that you are paying attention to your diet, your exercise routines, and your overall health habits.
- As you practice and become aware of how your behaviors affect your weight loss, you will become more self-conscious about what you do and how you feel. In addition, you may begin to notice your behaviors change and you may begin to learn how your actions impact other people.
- Self perception teaches that you do not have to accept all of what people tell you. and that they cannot make you feel better. However, you also do not have to be afraid to seek help or to ask questions. question your beliefs or your actions.
- Many times, you can get help from people around you to help you realize and accept your own perceptions and beliefs. Self-perception does not say that people are perfect, but rather that there are some problems in the world that are beyond your control.
- Self perception teaches that it is important to pay attention to what you are doing and how you feel. Self-perception does not teach that you should ignore your own thoughts and behaviors. Instead, you need to be aware of your own thoughts and behaviors to see how they affect your relationships with others.
- For example, you may think that you want to have a good relationship with your best friend. However, you may not know what the best relationship is for you and how you can improve upon it.
- Self perception may encourage you to be honest about what you are thinking and feeling. In addition, you may be able to accept the feelings that your thoughts and behaviors bring about instead of simply denying them.
Self perception teaches that you may not always get everything you desire from others. When you are faced with adversity, you may find that you can accept the difficulties instead of giving up and moving on. In addition, you may be able to take criticism positively. as you learn to change your beliefs and behaviors, you may find that you are able to succeed in your life.