Inconsistency and multiplicity in the self

Mehmet Abdulkerim Tetik

This thesis consists of an empirical study and a philosophical discussion. The empirical part is based on the Multiple Self-Aspect Framework whose fundamental principle argues that the self-concept is not unitary and it is composed of multiple self-aspects which reflect important components of one’s personal life such as roles, social identities, relationships etc. Self-aspects are associated with attributes and when a self-aspect becomes activated via contextual inputs, its associated attributes become more accessible. The aim of the empirical study of this thesis was to investigate how one’s perception change when two different self-aspects that are associated with opposing attributes become activated at the same time. Results showed that (1) simultaneous self-aspect activation rendered both opposing attributes and both self-aspects more accessible than baseline levels; (2) yet one opposing attribute still received more accessibility boost than the other, similarly one selfaspect became more accessible than the other. Philosophical implications of this empirical study along with the whole body of work derived from the Multiple Self- Aspect Framework are discussed subsequently: (1) in terms of how these philosophical implications relate to philosophical discussions of unity - multiplicity in the self, especially to Korsgaard’s Constitution Model; (2) one of the crucial findings of the broad work related to the Multiple Self-Aspect Framework is that in general, people lack global traits. The implication of this finding is discussed in conjunction with the Situationism - Virtue Ethics debate.