Although the idea of 'a sense of self' is widely used in psychology, the meaning of this phrase remains largely undefined. Self-recognition, self-esteem, and self-monitoring are important components of understanding one's self, but without ways of understanding and measuring the development of this sense of self, it's impossible for psychologists to conduct effective interventions and highly difficult for researchers to empirically investigate an individual's sense of self and other.
In The Self and Perspective Taking, Steven Hayes and other leading researchers explain how humans develop a sense of self through language and perspective development or 'perspective-taking'. Perspective-taking refers to an individual's ability to imagine circumstances other than their own, think objectively, and remain flexible and nonjudgmental when faced with others' differences. The articles in this book explore behavioral, developmental, social, cognitive, and neurophysiological approaches to understanding the self and perspective-taking. Readers learn how to use relational frame theory (RFT) to grasp the development of self-understanding and discover how this knowledge can improve clinicians' ability to improve self-understanding in others, especially in those with autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.
The authors have elected to donate their royalties to The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) Developing Nations Training Fund. This fund helps send acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) trainers to the developing world and provides scholarships for representatives from developing nations seeking to attend the annual ACBS World Conference.
Editor Louise McHugh, PhD, is a faculty member in the school of psychology at University College Dublin.
Editor Ian Stewart, PhD, is a faculty member in the department of psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and coauthor of The Art and Science of Valuing in Psychotherapy. Foreword writer Mark Williams, PhD, is professor of clinical psychology and Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at Oxford University, UK.