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-awareness and personal development

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.

Features of self-identity

The concept of self-identity in psychology is a voluminous, multi-level process and contains the stages, functions and structure. It is customary to consider four stages: cognitive (the simplest self-knowledge and self-awareness of the processes and mental states of the body); personal (self-esteem and experience in connection with their strengths and weaknesses); intellectual (introspection and self-observation); and behavioral (symbiosis of previous stages with motivated behavior). There are theories in which the development of a person’s self-consciousness contains only two phases: passive and active. In the first phase, the self-consciousness of the individual is an automatic consequence of development, and in the second phase, this process is activated.

The main functions include: self-knowledge - obtaining information about yourself; emotional and holistic self-attitude and the formation of "I"; self-defense of their unique personality; self-regulation behavior.

The identity of the person is predetermined genetically to a large extent. The child is aware of himself, his personal qualities, distinguishes himself from others, so the world around him gradually forms his self-consciousness. Its development repeats the periods of formation of own knowledge about the objective world. Then this process moves to a higher path of development, in which instead of sensations, the processes of reflection appear in a conceptual form.

The main feature and the most important component of self-awareness is the image of "I". These are relatively stable and not always conscious notions of a person about himself, as a result of which he interacts with people. This image acts as an installation directly to its actions and includes three components: cognitive, behavioral, and evaluative. The first includes the concept of their appearance, abilities and social significance. The second component encompasses the desire to be understood and inspire the respect and sympathy of friends, teachers or colleagues. And the third combines their own respect, criticism and humiliation.

There is still a perfect "I", which indicates the desired vision of yourself. This image is inherent not only in adolescence, but also in more mature age. The study of self-esteem helps determine the degree of destructiveness or adequacy of the "I".

Self-awareness and self-esteem

The impetus for personal development is self-esteem. It is an emotionally colored assessment of the image of "I", which consists of the concepts of the subject about their activities, actions, their own strengths and weaknesses. In the process of human socialization, the ability to self-esteem is formed. This happens gradually, as the disclosure of personal attitudes to actions, based on the assessments of others and the assimilation of moral principles developed by society.

Self-esteem is divided into adequate, understated and overvalued. People with different types of self-esteem can behave in completely different ways in the same situations. They will in every way influence the development of events, taking radically opposite actions.

Excessive self-esteem comes across in people with an idealized view of their importance to others and the value of the individual, as well as value. Such a person is filled with pride and pride, and therefore will never recognize their own gaps in knowledge, mistakes or unacceptable behavior. He is lazy and often becomes aggressive and tough.

Very low self-esteem is characterized by shyness, self-doubt, shyness, and not the exercise of their talents and skills. Such people are usually too critical of themselves and set goals below those they could achieve. They exaggerate personal failures and do not do without the support of others.

Active, energetic and optimistic people develop adequate self-esteem. It is distinguished by a reasonable perception of its own abilities and capabilities, a rational attitude to failures about the appropriate level of claims.

For self-esteem, self-esteem also plays an important role, that is, a personal opinion about yourself, regardless of the opinions of other people, and the level of competence of a person in a strong field.

Moral self-identity

Self-consciousness in psychology is represented in the works of a large number of foreign and domestic psychologists. The analysis of theoretical works allows to formulate the moral self-consciousness of the individual. It manifests itself in the process of regulation and awareness by a person of his actions, thoughts and feelings. As a result, the relationship of their moral character with moral values ​​and the requirements of society takes place.

The moral self-consciousness of the individual is a complex system in which it is customary to distinguish two levels that are not supposed to oppose each other. This is the ordinary and theoretical levels.

Everyday level can be depicted as an assessment of moral standards, which is based on everyday relationships between people. This level rests on the customs and traditions adopted in society. Here there are simple conclusions that are associated with estimates and observations.

And the theoretical level, in turn, is based on moral concepts that help to comprehend the essence of moral problems. It provides an opportunity to understand the ongoing events. There are such structural components as: values, meanings and ideals. They associate the moral self-consciousness of the person with human behavior.

Shame, duty, conscience and responsibility, reward and duty are considered to be the most important forms of moral self-consciousness of an individual. Shame is the elementary form, and the conscience is universal. The remaining forms of moral consciousness are highly differentiated.

Shame provides the individual with the opportunity to act in accordance with the prescriptions of culture and the moral ideals of society. Conscience is the experience of man regarding his own dignity and the rightness of his actions. Debt is an internal requirement that implies for a person to act in accordance with their moral standards. Responsibility puts before the person the task of choosing some motive, need, idea or desire. Retribution involves understanding the connection that exists between the praiseworthy reaction of others to a worthy act and the opposite reaction to immoral action. Duty has a similar meaning to the concept of responsibility and contains three components: awareness, respect and internal coercion to fulfill moral requirements.