Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The present thesis is focused on three issues devoted to exploring the nature of reflective self-perception. The first issue concerned the relationship between self and reflective self-perception, across several cognitive indices. The relationship between self and reflective self-perception was examined with respect to three types of reflective self-referents: a generalized other, a well-known other, and a new acquaintance. The second issue involved the effects of mild depression and social anxiety on individuals' self and reflective self-perceptions. The third area of investigation concerned the nature of normal individuals' self and reflective self-perceptions both prior to, and following, an interaction with mildly depressed and socially anxious subjects.;These issues were examined in three studies. Study 1 utilized a levels of processing paradigm to compare subjects' yes decisions (and subsequent recall) to depressed and nondepressed content, under three task conditions. The tasks included a semantic judgment, a self-reference judgment, and a reflective self-judgment regarding a generalized other. In Study 2, a similar paradigm was used to investigate individuals' reflective self-perceptions regarding a well-known other. Study 3 utilized a paradigm where individuals' self and reflective self-perceptions were assessed both prior to, and following, a dyadic interaction with a stranger. This experiment involved both target subjects (mildly depressed-socially anxious, nondepressed-socially anxious, and nondepressed-nonanxious) and nontarget subjects (nondepressed-nonanxious) each of whom made self-perceptions and reflective self-perceptions based on each other.;Together, the studies reported in this thesis offer empirical support for the following hypotheses. Individuals' reflective self-perceptions are first, more positive, and less negative, than their self-perceptions; second, are influenced by the operation of a positive content-based reflective self-schema; third, are minimally sensitive to internal input regarding their current mood state; and fourth, are minimally sensitive to external input from the social environment. Limitations and recommendations for future research were also discussed.



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