Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Self, Overview

  • Raya A. Jones
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_357


Psychological inquiries into self or selfhood represent diverse and divergent schools of thought with different histories and practice applications. Topics overlap subjectivity, identity, personality, and consciousness. The ontology of the self is hotly debated in psychology as in philosophy, but debates are often entered as the assertion of standpoints endorsing research directions. Psychology prioritizes inquiries into how persons develop and maintain self-understanding and the role that particular self-perceptions may play in behavior or mental health. Despite their diversity, all theories refer to the reflexivity of the self, its formation as personal adaptations to reality, and the role of the social environment.

The area of least controversy concerns awareness of oneself as an immediate subject of experience and the agent of own actions, which is related to sensory perception and depends on brain processes (not reviewed here). The area of most controversy concerns...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK