Categorical self refers to a person’s classification of the self along socially significant dimensions such as age and sex; definitions of the self that refer to concrete external traits.

The Categorical self refers to the ability of individuals to define themselves and others based on various categories, such as age, gender, race, occupation, and so on. It is a concept in developmental psychology that explains how children begin to understand and categorize themselves and others based on these characteristics. As individuals mature, their self-concept becomes more complex, and they begin to incorporate personality traits and other internal factors into their self-definition.

Examples of the Categorical self in action include a child identifying themselves as a boy or girl based on their biological sex, a teenager defining themselves by their interests and hobbies, and an adult defining themselves by their profession or relationships. In addition, individuals may use their own categories to describe others, such as labeling someone as "smart" or "funny" based on their own perceptions.

Similar concepts to the Categorical self in psychology include:

  1. Self-schema: The mental structures that individuals use to organize and process information about themselves.

  2. Social identity: The part of an individual's self-concept that is derived from their membership in various social groups.

  3. Self-categorization theory: A theory that explains how individuals categorize themselves and others based on social and cultural norms.

  4. Self-concept: The overall perception that individuals have of themselves, which includes both their self-esteem and self-efficacy.

  5. Stereotyping: The process of making assumptions or judgments about individuals based on group membership.

Overall, the Categorical self is an important concept in psychology that helps explain how individuals develop their sense of identity and how they perceive others based on various categories.


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