1) Number from 1 to 20.
2) Next to each number write ‘I am_____.’
3) Go through the numbers, from 1 to 20, filling in each blank with a different word or phrase describing yourself.
Note: Respond as if you are giving these answers to yourself and nobody else. Write your responses quickly and in the order they occur to you. Do not worry about the logic, sequence, or importance—if it comes into your head then type it next to the appropriate number. When you have completed your responses to the twenty items you have finished the first part of the TST.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING THE TEXT BELOW UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE FIRST PART OF THE EXERCISE.
If you have finished the first part of the exercise please read the text below:
I will assume that you have completed the first part of the TST. Your responses to the items are supposed to give you some insight into who you think you are and the identities which are most important (salient) to you.
Go back and look at numbers one through five. In many if not most cases your most salient aspects of self/identity will be listed somewhere in these first five responses. That intuitively makes sense: If you think of yourself as a football player first and foremost, in other words if it is your most important aspect of self, you probably will think of it early on rather than later on. In other words, you will probably have it listed somewhere in one through five rather than at nineteen or twenty. On the other hand, if being an uncle or aunt is not very important to you at all you probably will not think of it first and put it at number one on your list. Did you find that your most important identities were listed in your first five or so responses?
Next, you are going to code your responses.
1. Put an ‘A’ next to all responses on your TST that identify you as a physical being. For example, if you put your height, weight, name, or hair/eye color these responses are labeled ‘A.’ The ‘A’ mode, or physical self, is reflected in responses referring to your actual physical characteristics. Most information typically found on a driver’s license or ID card fall in this category.
2. Put a ‘B’ next to responses that identify you in terms of the social roles which you play or the social groups to which you belong. TST responses such as student, employee, father, daughter, mother, son, church member, etc. are labeled ‘B’. The ‘B’ mode, or social self, is reflected in responses that link us to social roles.
3. Put a ‘C’ next to responses that identify you in terms of styles of action, habit, or mood, such as funny, kind, smart, intelligent, active, hot-headed, etc. The ‘C’ mode, or reflective self, is reflected in statements which describe our self-perceived character or personality traits.
4. Put a ‘D’ next to responses that do not seem to fit into any of the other three categories. This is referred to as the oceanic self.
Count the number of As, Bs, and Cs you have and write down the results. The letter with the highest number of responses is referred to as your primary mode of self-anchorage.
Many if not most people find that they have a nice mix of As, Bs, and Cs. This indicates a well-rounded person, one who can call on various aspects of self as needed, and one who can deal with different types of people across a range of social situations. If you are totally anchored in one category, however, that can be problematic.
Interpretation: If you are strongly anchored in the A mode, the physical self, you may be somewhat narcissistic, one who is absorbed with appearances and consumption. Your behavior may meet only minimal adult expectations. If you have fifteen responses which received an ‘A’ that probably tells you something about yourself!
If you are strongly anchored in the B mode, the social self, you probably tend to act in socially effective and responsible ways, consistently fulfilling the requirements of your roles. On the downside, you may be rigid in your personality and habits and fearful of any sort of change or alteration in your life/personal routine.
If you are strongly anchored in the C mode, the reflective self, you probably tend to be more reflective and flexible in your actions than those strongly anchored in the B mode. You are likely to be introspective and interested in personal and social change. On the downside, these same qualities may lead to feelings of marginalization (feeling like an outsider).
If you are strongly anchored in the D mode, the oceanic self, you tend to be quite free in your actions, possibly so free that you violate norms and act in ways others interpret as bizarre or problematic. You may tend toward escapism and detachment from social relationships and commitments. On the positive side, you probably have an abundance of creativity and insight to offer.
You are to submit your TST responses along with a tally of the letters. How many As, Bs, Cs, and Ds did you have and where is your self anchored? Finally, in light of the interpretations offered above, do you see yourself in any of these? Do you think this gave you any insight into your sense of self? Were your most important aspects of self listed among your first five responses? NOTE:
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