Possible Selves Psychology
Self-concept is an individual’s theory about oneself. That is the person an individual was in the past, is current, and can be in the future including group memberships and social roles (Dunkel & Kerpelman, 2006). The self-concept that is well functioning helps an individual to make sense of the present, assists in positive self feelings preservations, predict the future, and also helps in motivation guidance. According to Dunkel & Kerpelman (2006), the future-oriented contents of the self-concept component have been named possible selves. Dunkel & Kerpelman (2006) explained that possible selves are what an individual believes he/she might become in a more distal or near future, and therefore significant in motivation and goal setting.
King & Kitchener (1994) pointed out that reflective judgment theories describe reasoning development from adolescents to adulthood. It describes epistemic assumptions changes, and how they affect the development of reflective and critical thinking skills, and other related constructs in adults and young adults, particularly college students. Reflective judgment theory is characterized by seven developmentally related but distinct sets of assumptions about the knowing process, and how it is acquired. The seven stages are broadly summarized into three levels;
- Pre-reflective reasoning– the belief that knowledge is gotten from a figure in authority, or through firsthand observation. The people holding these assumptions have a belief that whatever they know is totally correct. It is from stage one to three
- Quasi-reflective reasoning– these people recognize that knowledge contains uncertain elements, which they attribute to some information missing, or to the methods of getting the affected by mental or emotional health disabilities. However, research evidence. It is from stage four to five
- Reflective reasoning– the people holding these assumptions accept that knowledge cannot have certainty. However, they are bound by it and make judgments which they are certain relative ad most reasonable based on their available data evaluation. It is from stages six to seven (King & Kitchener, 1994).
Application of the theories in encouraging a student who dismisses the value of education
As Dunkel & Kerpelman (2006) asserted, the possible selves’ theory focuses on the future and allows for malleability, self-improvement, and personal growth. Because possible selves according to Dunkel & Kerpelman (2006) provide both positive images of an individual’s self attaining of the future goals and the negative images of an individual self failing to realize the goals. The student can be encouraged to focus on the future because through possible selves he will improve his well-being and be optimistic about the future. The factors that affect student outcomes. College student may be dismissing the education value now, an indication that may be things are not going well at current, but a promise of change is suggested by possible self. Through possible self, the lives and show people the right path to righteousness (Every student can improve his ability to self regulate and to self-control because it will help him focus on his future goals and reduce the distractions that influence him to dismiss education value at now. The student should also adopt school-focused possible selves to have success in his academic attainment including his immediate ones such as passing his end term exams.
Certainly, the student may be at the pre-reflective thinking stage of the reflective judgment model. The student may be pessimistic about education simply because he has not focused on what to be in the future, or he has not analyzed the available . For example, the course of nation-state building that took place in the 19th and 20th century and society militarization, as well as the warlordism, are two processes that provide evidence of the value of education. Therefore, the student should focus and think reflectively. He should seek knowledge from different sources, evaluate the evidence available across broad contexts and also seek the opinion of reputable people. Lastly, the student should compare his beliefs and compare the available evidence and opinions across different contexts and he will change his perception of the value of education (King & Kitchener, 1994).
Dunkel, C., & Kerpelman, J. (2006). Possible selves: Theory, research, and applications. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
King, P. M., & Kitchener, K. S. (1994). Developing reflective judgment: Understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.