Self awareness

Self-awareness is the experience of one’s own personality or individuality.

Individuals become conscious of themselves through the development of self-awareness.

Consciousness is being aware of one’s environment and body and lifestyle, self-awareness is the recognition of that awareness.

Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. 

The two broad categories of self-awareness are internal self-awareness and external self-awareness.

The  two categories of self awareness enrich each other to create the representation of self.

Bodily self-awareness is related to proprioception and visualization.

Body awareness refers to a person’s overall ability to direct their focus on various internal sensations accurately. 

Both proprioception and interoception allow individuals to be consciously aware of multiple sensations.

Proprioception allows individuals to focus on sensations in their muscles and joints, posture, and balance.

Interoception determines sensations of the internal organs, such as fluctuating heartbeat, respiration, lung pain, or satiety. 

Distorted body-awareness are symptoms present in a variety of health disorders and conditions, such as obesity, anorexia nervosa, and chronic joint pain:  Over-acute body-awareness, under-acute body-awareness, and distorted body-awareness.

Bodily self-awareness is one’s awareness of their body as a physical object, with physical properties, that can interact with other objects. 

By a few months of age babies are aware of the relationship between the proprioceptive and visual information they receive: first-person self-awareness.

At around 18 months old children begin to develop reflective self-awareness of bodily awareness, recognizing themselves in reflections, mirrors, and pictures.

If children do not reach this stage of bodily self-awareness, they tend to view reflections of themselves as other children, as if they were looking at someone else face to face. 

After toddlers become self-aware, they develop the ability to recognize their bodies as physical objects in time and space that interact and impact other objects: This is the final stage of body self-awareness and is called objective self-awareness.

Self-awareness is the most fundamental issue in psychology.

When one focuses attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values, eliciting  a state of objective self-awareness. 

Self-consciousness is an objective evaluation  of ourselves.

Self-awareness is not to be confused with self-consciousness.

People tend to align their behavior with their standards when made self-aware. 

Individuals are negatively affected if they don’t live up to their personal standards. 

Environmental cues and situations lead to  awareness of the self: mirrors, an audience, or being videotaped or recorded. 

Such environmental cues increase accuracy of personal memory.

It is one theory that self-awareness develops from birth through life and it is a major factor for the development of general inferential abilities.

Self-awareness of cognitive processes participates in general intelligence.

Self awareness promotes self-efficacy, and the the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations.

Self awareness promotes the ability to succeed and sets the stage to know how to think, behave and feel. 

Self awareness allows the ability  to meet challenges and not be easily discouraged by setbacks, to promote awareness  of their flaws and abilities and choose to utilize these qualities to the best of their ability. 

A person with a weak sense of self-efficacy evades challenges and quickly feels discouraged by setbacks: They may not be aware of these negative reactions, and therefore do not always change their attitude. 

Self-awareness is a type of self-development pertains to becoming conscious of one’s own body and mental state of mind including thoughts, actions, ideas, feelings and interactions with others. 

Self-awareness does not occur suddenly through one particular behavior.

Self-awareness develops gradually through a succession of different behaviors all of which relate to the self.

The monitoring of one’s mental states is called metacognition.

Metacognition is considered to be an indicator that there is some concept of the self, and it is developed through a sense of non-self using sensory and memory sources. 

Self–awareness developed through self-exploration and social experiences broaden one’s social world allowing one to become more familiar with the self.

Philippe Rochat’s five levels of self-awareness which unfold in early development: ranges from “Level 0” of having no self-awareness to Level 5, explicit self-awareness.

Level 0: the individual has a degree of zero self-awareness. This person is unaware of any mirror reflection or the mirror itself. 

The mirror is perceived as an extension of their environment. 

Level 1: Differentiation. The individual realizes the mirror is able to reflect things, and one can differentiate between their own movement in the mirror and the movement of the surrounding environment.

Level 2: Situation.The individual can link the movements on the mirror to what is perceived within their own body. A first hint of self-exploration on a projected surface where what is visualized on the mirror is special to the self.

Level 3: Identification stage is characterized by the ability to identify self: an individual can now see that what’s in the mirror is not another person but actually them. 

Level 4: Permanence. Once an individual reaches this level they can identify the self beyond the present mirror imagery, and able to identify the self in previous pictures looking different or younger.

Level 5: Self-consciousness or self-awareness, the self seen from a first person view but also seen from a third person’s view. 

There is an understand they can be in the mind of others, and they are seen from a public standpoint.

In the first year that they gradually begin to acknowledge that their body is actually separate from that of their mother, and that they are an active agent.

At the end of the first year, they realize that their movement, as well, is separate from movement of the mother. 

By the time a toddler reaches 18–24 months, they will discover themselves and recognize their own reflection in the mirror.

The age of recognition varies widely with differing cultures, parenting and socioeconomic levels.

Toddlers begin to acknowledge that it is their image in front of them that is moving , and appreciating  the relationship between cause and effect that is occurring.

Toddlers by 24 months will observe and relate their own actions to those actions of other people and the surrounding environment.

After a lot of experience, and time, in front of a mirror, toddlers are able to recognize themselves in the reflection, and understand that it is them: appreciating the body’s spatial and their causal relationship with the external world.

Facial recognition is a pivotal point in their development of self-awareness.

An infant of 18 months can  communicate their name to others.

By 18 months a child can identify themselves in a picture.

By the second year a child acquires gender category and age categories.

As an infant moves to middle childhood and adolescence, they develop a higher level of self-awareness and self-description. 

Around  school age children’s awareness of personal memory transitions into a sense of one’s own self, and the development of  interests along with likes and dislikes. 

The sense of one’s own self enables the awareness of an individual’s past, present, and future to grow as conscious experiences are remembered.

Preschoolers can give much more specific details about things, instead of generalizations due to these memories.

Most children are aware of their emotions: shame, guilt, pride and embarrassment by the age of two.

Children, however, do not fully understand how those emotions affect their life.

By adolescence one becomes conscious and in touch with their emotions and apply an understanding of how they affect their lives.

Many adolescents display happiness and self-confidence around friends, but hopelessness and anger around parents due to the fear of being a disappointment. 

Teenagers may feel intelligent and creative around teachers, yet shy, uncomfortable and nervous around people they are not familiar with.

In adolescent development, self-awareness has a more complex emotional context compared to those in the early childhood phase, and these elements can include self-image, self-concept, and self–consciousness.

Social interactions and emotional recognition skills in adolescents mainly separate the element of self-awareness in adolescence rather than in childhood.

Anosognosia refers to the inability to recognize one’s deficits.

Having a lack of awareness raises the risks of treatment and medical service nonadherence.

Individuals who deny having an illness may be against seeking professional help being convinced that nothing is wrong with them. 

Disorders of self-awareness frequently follow frontal lobe damage.

Methods used to measure how severe an individual’s lack of self-awareness is: The Patient Competency Rating Scale (PCRS) evaluates self-awareness in patients who have endured a traumatic brain injury.

PCRS is a 30-item self-report instrument that asks the subject to use a 5-point scale to rate his or her degree of difficulty in a variety of tasks and functions. 

Independently, relatives or significant others who know the patient well are also asked to rate the patient on each of the same behavioral items. 

The difference between the relatives’ and patient’s perceptions is considered an indirect measure of impaired self-awareness. 

A second method of testing a patient’s self-awareness is simply asking a patient why they are in the hospital or what is wrong with their body can give compelling answers as to what they see and are analyzing.

Anosognosia describes the clinical condition in which an individual suffered from left hemiplegia following a right cerebral hemisphere stroke yet denied that there were any problems with their left arm or leg. 

Anosognosia for hemiplegia has evolved throughout the years and is now used to describe people who lack subjective experience in both neurological and neuropsychological cases.

A wide variety of disorders are associated with anosognosia: patients who are blind from cortical lesions might in fact be unaware that they are blind,  individuals with aphasia and other cognitive disorders may also suffer from anosognosia as they are unaware of their deficiencies and when they make certain speech errors, and Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease lack awareness.

Dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) involves a disturbance of identity in which two or more separate and distinct personalities/identities that control an individual’s behavior at different times.

One identity may be differ from another, and with DID when one is under the influence of one of their identities, they may forget their experiences when they switch to the other identity. 

With dissociative identity disorder that occurs under the control of one identity, the person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control.

Patients may experience time loss, amnesia, and adopt different mannerisms, attitudes, speech and ideas under different personalities. 

With dissociative identity disorder individuals are often unaware of the different lives they lead or their condition in general.

With dissociative identity disorder individuals may feel  as though they are looking at their life through the lens of someone else, and even being unable to recognize themselves in a mirror.

DID may in fact not be aa real disorder,

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopmental disabilities that can adversely impact social communication and create behavioral challenges,

ASD and autism are a group of complex disorders of brain development, characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

ASDs can also cause imaginative abnormalities especially in sensory-motor, perceptual and affective dimensions.

Children with ASD may have difficulties with self-awareness and self acceptance. 

Autism is associated with different thinking patterns and brain processing functions in the area of social thinking and actions may compromise their ability to understand themselves and social connections to others.

About 75% diagnosed autistics are mentally handicapped in some general way and the other 25% diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome show average to good cognitive functioning.

Children suffering from varying degrees of autism struggle in social situations, and that self-awareness is a main problem for people with ASD. 

The ventromedial pre-frontal cortex is known to be active when people think about themselves.

In the Autism Spectrum Disorders self-awareness is primarily lacking in social situations but when in private they are more self-aware and present. 

In the company of others while engaging in interpersonal interaction ASD patients’ self-awareness mechanism seems to fail. 

Self-awareness dissipates when an autistic person is faced with a demanding social situation. 

Self-awareness is a process of behavioral inhibition responsible for self-preservation: This behavioral inhibitory system restrains our activities. 

With ASD, this inhibitory mechanism operates on the least possible trigger and shows an over sensitivity to impending danger and possible threats.

These dangers may be perceived as being in the presence of strangers, or a loud noise from a radio, and self-awareness can be compromised due to the desire of self preservation, which trumps social composure and proper interaction.

Joint attention (JA) was developed as a teaching strategy to help increase positive self-awareness in those with autism spectrum disorder.

Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric illness characterized by excessive dopamine activity in the mesolimbic tract and insufficient dopamine activity in the mesocortical tract leading to symptoms of psychosis along with poor cognition in socialization. 

People with schizophrenia have a combination of positive, negative and psychomotor symptoms. 

These cognitive disturbances involve rare beliefs and/or thoughts of a distorted reality that creates an abnormal pattern of functioning for the patient. 

The cause of schizophrenia has a substantial genetic component involving many genes. 

While the heritability of schizophrenia has been found to be around 80%, only about 60% of sufferers report a positive family history of the disorder, and ultimately the cause is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Stressful life events is an environmental factor that can trigger the onset of schizophrenia in individuals who already are at risk from genetics and age.

Schizophrenia as a disease state is characterized by severe cognitive dysfunction and it is uncertain to what extent patients are aware of this deficiency. 

To receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia, there must have two or more of the following symptoms in the duration of one month: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized/catatonic behavior and negative symptoms.

Patients with poor insight in mental disorders are less likely to be compliant with treatment and are more likely to have a poorer prognosis. 

A large proportion of schizophrenics do not have self-awareness of their illness.

In bipolar disorder self-awareness changes with mood.


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