The Self Concept and Perception

Unit Outcome: Internalize the connections between self-concept and perception relative to the communication process.

Have you heard the saying “You have to love yourself before you can love others?” We can easily translate that to effective communication – before you can be an effective communicator with others, you need to know and understand yourself. The ability to recognize and predict your own behavior/communication in certain situations will help translate to you becoming aware of how you read and perceive others, in turn becoming more effective at creating messages to reach your target audience. Think about the characteristics of a competent communicator we discussed in the last section – most of those are individual characteristics that require us to know ourselves. A great example of that is self-monitoring – self monitoring is all about knowing ourselves and adapting our behaviors accordingly.

The other part of this is perceiving others. Everyone views the world in a different way based on our own previous experiences. Understanding how this process works, and how we personally view the world, allows us to step back and ask ourselves if our perceptions are fair or biased? Correct or incorrect? In this unit, we’ll dive into a little psychology on perception and the self, and then discuss the implications for communication. You’ll be required to do some self-reflection on your perceptions of yourself, which is difficult if it’s something you don’t do on a regular basis!

At the end of this unit, you will be able to:

  • Identify the pieces that make up the self-concept
  • Apply the pieces of the self concept to your personal self concept
  • Explain the steps of the Perception Process
  • Apply the steps of the Perception Process to everyday situations


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