Hirsch, Kelly Anne (2014-05). Postmodernism and the Self: How Social Saturation Influences Who We Think We Are. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • The current research examined the role that social saturation plays in people's beliefs about the self. Specifically, the current studies examined whether "social saturation" predicts the belief that people have multiple selves (as opposed to one single true self). It was hypothesized that greater social saturation would lead to greater belief in multiple selves and that this relationship would be mediated by reduced self-reflection and increased perceived stress. A preliminary survey study (Study 1) using an adult noncollege student sample supported these predictions, showing that individual differences in social saturation positively predicted belief in multiple selves and that this relationship was mediated by self-reflection and perceived stress. However, exploratory analyses revealed that the relationship between social saturation and belief in multiple selves became nonsignificant when controlling for perceived stress, suggesting that perceived stress was driving this relationship. Two experimental studies (Studies 2 and 3) using college students directly manipulated the objective context (high social saturation vs. low social saturation), and revealed that the objective context of saturation did not result in the subjective experience of saturation (i.e., overload). Trends in the data revealed that participants in the high social saturation (vs. low social saturation) condition actually reported less belief in multiple selves (Study 2), less self-alienation and more selfconcept clarity (Study 3). Exploratory analyses revealed that both experimental studies showed a similar pattern to the analyses in Study 1, such that greater perceived stress was related to greater belief in multiple selves. Implications of both social saturation and stress for self-beliefs are discussed.
  • The current research examined the role that social saturation plays in people's
    beliefs about the self. Specifically, the current studies examined whether "social
    saturation" predicts the belief that people have multiple selves (as opposed to one single
    true self). It was hypothesized that greater social saturation would lead to greater belief
    in multiple selves and that this relationship would be mediated by reduced self-reflection
    and increased perceived stress. A preliminary survey study (Study 1) using an adult noncollege
    student sample supported these predictions, showing that individual differences
    in social saturation positively predicted belief in multiple selves and that this relationship
    was mediated by self-reflection and perceived stress. However, exploratory analyses
    revealed that the relationship between social saturation and belief in multiple selves
    became nonsignificant when controlling for perceived stress, suggesting that perceived
    stress was driving this relationship. Two experimental studies (Studies 2 and 3) using
    college students directly manipulated the objective context (high social saturation vs.
    low social saturation), and revealed that the objective context of saturation did not result
    in the subjective experience of saturation (i.e., overload). Trends in the data revealed that
    participants in the high social saturation (vs. low social saturation) condition actually
    reported less belief in multiple selves (Study 2), less self-alienation and more selfconcept
    clarity (Study 3). Exploratory analyses revealed that both experimental studies
    showed a similar pattern to the analyses in Study 1, such that greater perceived stress
    was related to greater belief in multiple selves. Implications of both social saturation and stress for self-beliefs are discussed.

publication date

  • May 2014