(1) What is the self concept ?

An individual self consists of two parts, the subjective part and the objective part. The subjective part was obtained when one was born (Sarbin, 1952). It is described as proactive, which is in a manner that is expressive of the proprium because it influences the external environment rather than being influenced by it. The objective part is obtained when the individual self receives the responses from the environment owning to its existence. When the individual organizes the perception of these responses, the belief about himself is constituted. This set of beliefs composes the self concept. It is better explained by Rogers (1951) : "the self concept may be thought of as an organized configuration of perceptions of the self which are admissible to awareness". Burke (1980) defined more clearly that the self was composed of an organized set of identities, and these identities were measurable. This established the theoretical basis of the measurement of self concept. Mead (1934) stated the difference between the subjective part and the objective part more clearly that 'I' was the response of the organism to the attitudes of the others; 'me' was the organized set of attitudes of others which one himself assumed. He also stated that the start of the self was at the time when the responses of the others became an essential part in the experience of conduct of the individual. The kinds of responses taken into account for the composition of the self concept, as stated by Horrock (1976), were fro the experienced past, experiencing present, and the anticipation of the future. This information provided a gross picture about the self concept that was a set of beliefs arisen by collecting the responses from the environment in the past and the present. The outcome would affect the expectations and the future behavior of the individual. The elements of this construct could be properly named as suggested by Hudson (1968). He gave four names for the four expessions of the individual.

(a)The actual self, the part the individual actually are. It resembles the 'I';
(b)The ideal self, the part the individual likes to be;
(c)The perceived self, the part the environment takes the individual to be. It resembles the 'me'.
(d)The future self, the part the individual expects to be in a period of time.

If these terms are applied, we can say that the actual self is not as important as the perceived self, because the actual self reacts to the environment only, but the perceived self affects the establishment of the ideal self and the future self.


(2) The characteristics of self concept
(3) The importance of the self concept
(4) How the self concept is changed