My inquiry for my project initially was “why students change their personalities based on their surroundings?” but after reading some articles about behavior it would almost seem impossible to find and exact why people do it, it seems be innate in all human beings as it is a part to how we survive in this world. So I have thought my inquiry more as a “how and when ” in comparison to a “why” it happens. With this outlook I hope to find some parallels with my observations and research about the 5 aspects of self-presentation.
I never thought about the 5 aspects of self-presentation until I read about it and it seems to make things clearer for me as I look into how people use different tactics to leave a specific impression on people. Jones and Pittman concerning “strategic behaviors illicitly designed to influence a particular other person concerning the attractiveness of one’s personal qualities” identified the Five Tactics of Self-Presentation. They are as follows: Ingratiation, Intimidation, Self-Promotion, Exemplification, and Supplication. Most people use one or two strategies in their daily lives and develop them in such a way that it’s basically customary or regular for them to use those tactics in any conversation. Based off of these tactics I want to see what tactics are most used, when and how are they are implemented and how they effect the people around them. I feel like I just based off of my observations that I have so far, imitation seems to be used most when people are in areas that are unfamiliar or not in comfortable realm for a group of people to be. For example, when you are at the dining hall and you go to swipe your card the desk, the impression on the desk clerk’s face is usually somewhat unwelcoming which then affects the student is coming into the dining hall or vice versa. Another example could be when your walking down the street with your Ipod on and earphones in, most people walk with a very natural but almost intimidating mask on trying to avoid being seen by most people; Even better is when people where sunglasses and put another shield to protect them or defend them from the world and the people around them. I’ve come to see how essential the natural mask is in our daily lives how much people rely on it to get by daily.
I’m still interested in looking more into other various theories about self-presentation including “Symbolic interactionism” (C.H. Cooley and G.H. Mead), “Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life”(Erving Goffman) and “Situated Identities”. I would hope that these theories would expand on my observations and develop new discoveries and rational with “when and how” people use certain self-presentational tactics. Through more article research, I hope to find these sources through databases or blogs; my best resource to finding this information is through the Internet as there are more direct ways to get to psychology and behavioral studies that way.
The only gap I can think that could possibly emerge an “orginal” idea is how these other theories could blend or clash with my established usage of the Five Tactics theory. From this, I could see how all these theories imply to my observations and then develop my own sense of “rules” or “theory” to behavioral status quos for college-students at SU. If I had to make an argument, I would say that majority of students at Su do put on different personas depending on their surroundings and such but don’t realize that they are always doing it. This is primarily based off of my observations, readings from People Reading and Self-Presentation, and the Five Tactics theory.
THESIS: Many people have little awareness about how they come off in public space.