Self-consciousness of a person is a person’s ability that helps one to become aware of one’s own “I”, as well as one’s own interests, needs, values, one’s behavior and experiences. All these elements interact with each other functionally and genetically, but evolve not at once. This skill arises with birth and is modified throughout the entire human development. In modern psychology, there are three points of view on the origin of self-consciousness, but one of the traditional among all areas is. This is an understanding of self-awareness as a genetically original form of human consciousness.
Self-consciousness of a person is not a quality inherent in a person at birth. It goes through a long period of evolution and improvement. However, the first rudiments of identity are observed in infancy. In general, the development of self-consciousness of a person goes through several successive stages, which can be symbolically divided into the following:
Stage 1 (up to a year) - the child separates itself from the world of people and objects. At first, he does not distinguish himself from others, does not distinguish his own movements from those that are carried out by his relatives in caring for him. Games are the first time with arms and legs, and then with objects of the outside world, which indicate the child’s primary distinction between active and passive personal roles in motor activity. This experience gives the child the opportunity to realize their own potential. The emergence and development of children's speech is of particular importance. This actually infuses him into the sphere of relations with people around him.
Stage 2 (1-3 years) - marked by intense and significant mental development. The self-identity of the child is associated with impulses to perform actions and coordinate them in time. Confronting yourself with others is often negative. It is from this, despite not the impeccability and instability of these first forms of motivation, that the distinction between the spiritual “I” of a child begins.
Stage 3 (3-7 years) - the development is carried out smoothly and evenly. In the third year of life, the child stops talking about himself in the third person, wants to experience his own independence and oppose himself to others. These attempts by the individual to win independence lead to a number of conflicts with those around him.
Stage 4 (7-12 years) - reserves continue to accumulate, and the process of self-awareness occurs without tangible crises and jumps. There are bright and significant changes in consciousness, associated primarily with changes in social conditions (school).
Stage 5 (12-14 years) - the child again begins to be interested in his own personality. A new crisis develops when a child seeks to be different and oppose himself to adults. Vividly expressed social identity.
Stage 6 (14-18 years old) - is of particular importance, since it is here that the personality rises to a new level and itself immeasurably affects the further development of self-consciousness. Finding yourself, gathering knowledge about your own identity is of paramount importance. This marks the beginning of maturity.
Formation of self-identity
In adolescence and adolescence, the formation of the foundations of the identity of the individual. It is this stage (from eleven to twenty years) that includes the influence on a teenager of his own status among his peers, the assessment of social thought, his activity, and the ratio of the real “I” to the ideal. The defining categories of the formation of self-consciousness of the individual is the worldview and self-affirmation of the subject.
A worldview is a system of complete judgments of a person about himself, the surrounding reality and about life positions and actions of people. It is based on the experience and knowledge accumulated up to this period, and gives the activity a conscious character.
Self-affirmation is a person's behavior, which is caused by the increase in self-esteem and the maintenance of the desired social status. The method of self-affirmation depends on the education, capabilities and individual skills of a particular person. A person can assert himself as with the help of his achievements, also with appropriating non-existent successes.
Other significant categories include: the awareness of the irreversibility of time and the meaning of life; the formation of full self-esteem; understanding of personal attitudes to intimate sensitivity (but there are gender differences, due to the fact that girls develop physiologically before boys); comprehension of love as a socio-psychological expression.
Along with these categories, one should single out the social role and social status as the main criteria for the formation of self-consciousness.
The social role is a stable characteristic of social behavior, expressed in the implementation of behavioral patterns, consistent with the norms and own expectations. She combines role expectations and the actual performance of the role.
The role has the strongest influence on the development of the individual, since it is social interaction that greatly helps the individual to adapt to life.
Social status is the position of a person in a particular society, which includes a number of rights and obligations. Some social statuses are acquired at birth, while others are deliberately achieved throughout life.