Self-Awareness and the Locus of the Self-Knowledge Development: a Comparison Study to Investigate Developmental Sequences Using Semi-Structured Self Concept Interviews

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Self-awareness and the locus of the self-knowledge development: a comparison study to investigate developmental sequences using semi-structured self concept interviews.


This study examines the view that self-awareness gradually develops with a shift from physical to psychological characteristics whilst the locus of self-knowledge progressively transfers from others to the self. Previous research implementing semi-structured self concept interviews to investigate self descriptions amongst young children of various age groups supported these findings, underpinning the theories of a gradual emergence and elaboration of the self as a subject and the self as an object of knowledge. In the current study, a comparison
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Participants were presented with an A4 white paper with the words "Who am I" printed on top followed by ten numbered lines, each beginning with "I..." (see Appendix 1). Parents of all participants completed a consent form. Self descriptions were coded on a coding sheet containing the relevant categories in separate columns on the left and the "I" statement on the right (see Appendix 2 and 3)


Interviews were independently conducted during school hours by two separate male Open University course team members; one (Kieron Sheehy) for the eight-year old participant, Annie, and another (Peter Barnes) for the sixteen-year old participant, Adam, at their respective schools. Annie was interviewed in the familiar surroundings of a building adjacent to the small village school used for PE lessons, accompanied by a classroom assistant. Adam was interviewed in a small interview room located opposite the school secretary's office. The producer and sound recordist were present during all interviews.

Participants were informed that they may request recording to be stopped if they felt that they said something that they did not wish to be recorded; neither one did so. Participants were briefed as to the purpose of the interview and related study and were encouraged to speak freely. They were assured that there are no correct or incorrect answers.

The participants were asked to complete a list of ten sentences starting with "I" during which recording