A Study Based on Rosenbergs Research

1771 words 8 pages

The development of children’s identity particularly their self-perceptions, is of a widespread interest. This small-scale study was based on previous research by Rosenberg (1979). The aim was to determine the differences between self-descriptions and the shift of the locus of self-knowledge with age. The design involved semi-structured interviews of two participants aged 8 and 16 years. The participants wrote some statements about who they were, which were coded according to Rosenberg’s (1979) themes of self-descriptions. The responses about the locus of self-knowledge were also analysed to assess the shift with age and other themes were also analysed. The results showed that
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The researcher showed the children eight objects which were either light floaters or heavy sinkers. The children categorized them as sinkers or floaters. They were then asked by the researcher to predict what would happen if the objects were placed in a tub of water and why they would sink or float. The predictions were then tested and the children were asked about what had happened.
Next the participants were shown eleven objects that were either light sinkers or heavy floaters. The participants categorised them as sinkers or floaters and predicted what would happen and why an object would float or sink. The predictions were tested by placing the objects in a tub of water and the child was asked to comment on what had happened and why. In some cases where an initial prediction was incorrect, the researcher asked the participants to explain the result.

The interview transcript was used for qualitative analysis to explore the themes of self-evaluation, ideal-self, self and others and locus of self-development. Throughout the investigation the Ethics and Principles of BPS were followed.

The results of this study showed that the younger participant mostly depended on physical descriptors but also used a few descriptors related to character. In comparison the older participant used physical, character, relationship and inner descriptors. This showed that his self-descriptions were more complex than the


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