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Defining It

3-self-concepts of IGO .png

Meet the IGO™ -- Your Selfie in Mind!

In the psychology of self, one's self-concept (also called self-construction, self-identity, self-perspective or self-structure) is a collection of beliefs about oneself - all on display in the SELFIE identified in our minds

Generally, self-concept embodies the answer to the question "Who am I?". The self-concept is distinguishable from self-awareness, which is the extent to which self-knowledge is defined, consistent, and currently applicable to one's attitudes and dispositions.  The IGO™ is where you (and everybody goes) in their imagination as they conceive of self.


IGO™ as a self-concept differs from self-esteem although there is an interplay: the IGO is a cognitive or descriptive component of one's self (e.g. "I am a fast runner"), while self-esteem is evaluative and opinionated (e.g. "I feel good about being a fast runner"). The IGO concept of oneself imagined is made up of one's self-schemas --this refers to a long lasting and stable set of memories that summarize a person's beliefs, experiences and generalizations filtered through what I write about as the BIDECK (described in the book) that filters aspects of the self, in specific behavioral domains. A person may have a self-schema filtered through the BIDECK that which may be based on any aspect of themselves conceived as "me" and reflected in their IGO.  This inner-display of IGO interacts with self-esteem, self-knowledge, and the social self to form the sense of self as a whole. IGO includes the past, present, and future selves, where future selves (or possible selves) represent individuals' ideas of what they might become, what they would like to become, or what they are afraid of becoming. Possible IGO selves may function as incentives for certain behavior. 

The recognition that we ought to name and study the IGO developed over years of research into how we identify and label ourselves. The initial curiosity that drove my interest in developing our IGO came from fantasizing a "super me" in high school wondering about the sense of power, influence on others and type of impact imagining ourselves in our daily lives might have.   I also had an IGO incident while enjoying being with my college girlfriend at the time I viewed my IGO in a future situation that caused havoc.  It was all extremely clear and disturbing to me.  That image of my IGO appeared similar as if in a movie nightmare scenario.  Eventually what I perceived happened and confirmed

when the exact image I had in mind at the time appeared as a picture in my school newspaper after it all happened. 


The perception people have about their past or future selves relates to their perception of their current selves. The temporal self-appraisal theory among others which I will review in the book argues that people have a tendency to maintain a positive self-evaluation by distancing themselves from their negative self and paying more attention to their positive one which could become dangerous. In addition, people have a tendency to perceive the past self less favorably (e.g. "I'm better than I used to be") and the future self more positively (e.g. "I will be better than I am now").

MEET YOUR IGO + follow-up books can go in depth and explore concepts enabled by IGO such as Ego death and:
Identity ( as social science)                          Moral identity                              Personal boundaries
Personal identity                                           Psyche (psychology)                  Self-Image
IGO psychology                                            Self-awareness                           Self-control
Self-efficacy                                                  Self-image                           
Self-reflection                                               Self-schema                                Future self

Notes to any potential publisher:

I propose to include in the book not only arguments to why we need to recognize and name the IGO but also how doing so can help us recognize our potential and maximize the opportunity to self-realize the good each of us have.

Gerrig, Richard J.; Zimbardo, Philip G. (2002). "Glossary of Psychological Terms"

Psychology And Life. Boston: Allyn and Bacon  (adding IGO to the next editions)


  1.  Leflot, Geertje; Onghena, Patrick; Colpin, Hilde (2010). "Teacher–child interactions: relations with children's self-concept in second grade". Infant and Child Development. 19 (4): 385–405. doi:10.1002/icd.672ISSN 1522-7219.

  2.  Flook, Lisa; Repetti, Rena L; Ullman, Jodie B (March 2005). "Classroom social experiences as predictors of academic performance". Developmental Psychology. 41 (2): 31–327. CiteSeerX 0012-164915769188.

  3.  Myers, David G. (2009). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. ISBN 978-0073370668.

  4.  Ayduk, Ozlem; Gyurak, Anett; Luerssen, Anna (November 2009). "Rejection sensitivity moderates the impact of rejection on self-concept clarity". Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 35 (11): 1467–1478. doi:10.1177/0146167209343969ISSN 1552-7433PMC 4184908PMID 19713567.

  5.  Markus, H.; Nurius, P. (1986). "Possible selves". American Psychologist. 41 (9): 954–969. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.41.9.954550525.

  6.  Wilson, AE; Ross, M (April 2001). "From chump to champ: people's appraisals of their earlier and present selves". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 80 (4): 572–584. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.80.4.572ISSN 0022-3514PMID 11316222.

  7.  Ross, Michael; Wilson, Anne E (May 2002). "It feels like yesterday: self-esteem, valence of personal past experiences, and judgments of subjective distance". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 82 (5): 792–803. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.82.5.792ISSN 0022-351412003478.

  8.  Wilson, Anne E.; Buehler, Roger; Lawford, Heather; Schmidt, Colin; Yong, An Gie (2012). "Basking in projected glory: The role of subjective temporal distance in future self-appraisal". European Journal of Social Psychology. 42 (3): 342–353. doi:10.1002/ejsp.1863ISSN 1099-0992.

  9.  Ahmad, Nik; Ismail, Hisham (2015). "Rediscovering Rogers's Self Theory and Personality". Journal of Educational, Health and Community Psychology. 4 – via ResearchGate.


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