Is There a Real You?

Social psychology is a discipline that studies the impacts of humankind’s state of affairs, with a focus on how humans interpret and impact one another emotionally. More specifically, it is the methodical assessment of how individuals influence, think about, and relate to one another. Social psychology is still a new discipline; in fact, it was not until the first half of the 20th century that the discipline came into its current form (Myers, 2009). Social psychology studies our thoughts, as well as our effects on and interactions with others by seeking answers to questions that all humans have pondered.

What are the core concepts of social psychology? One main platform is the notion of self-awareness. Since the beginning of time, mankind has tried to understand the way the brain functions and just what defines one’s personality and inner self; despite obvious progress, humanity has yet to sort itself out, and numerous points of view exist on the question of who we are, as well as about how close we are to truly understanding the concept of self-awareness.

One particularly attractive point of view, because it questions if we are aware of who we are, is the question of understanding our inner selves. This aspect dwells on the art of self-development and self-acceptance. Julian Baggini states that we possess not only logic, but also knowledge, feelings, and personal experiences, and he asserts that this to him is the most logical explanation of the human prototype—this explains what a human is. In his TED Talk, Baggini emphasized that “there is the shift between thinking of yourself as a thing which has all the experiences of life and thinking of yourself as simply that collection of all experiences in life” (TED, 2011). Baggini also confirms that this interpretation is not, in fact, innovative; rather, his ideology has an extensive history, traceable to Buddhism philosophy, as well as later 17th and 18th-century ideologies. Remarkably, his view is also progressively endorsed by neuroscience.

The reaction against Baggini’s point of view considers the beginning of his speech as more of an allegation than a scientific approach backed by facts, and although this theory of self-awareness is maybe not comprehensible at first, with careful consideration comes understanding: it’s just natural habit that forces us to feel that we are more united on the inside than we really are. This is a distressing idea as people do not want to accept that individuality is not about them personally, but instead just a collection of prior life experiences and emotions.

The above point of view made a profound impression on the author of this essay, making clear that following the speaker’s suggestions could radically change an individual’s attitude toward self-knowledge. Such an approach to the well-established philosophical views about society could help solve several problems inherent to it, such as timidity and obscurity of self-aware people and people’s natural refusal to accept themselves as they are.

The topic Baggini raises articulates that people should not necessarily search for what they are and what they want to be or who they should become. The hint was that true identity is not something a person must go looking for, but instead people can learn from themselves, and then craft an identity on their own. The writer of this essay agrees with Baggini and fully supports his point of view as it is based on historical knowledge and reflects wisdom as well as a deep philosophical concept of identity.

By analyzing the examined data, the author of this essay deduces that Baggini’s research is insightful and reveals the universal truth concerning one of many points of view on a person’s perspective about self-awareness and about developing his or her own sense of self. Baggini’s speech argues for the notion that the problem of self-knowledge has never been as relevant as in this present time, and he motivates listeners to make themselves, not find themselves.

It has indeed been a long trajectory for humankind toward learning how to follow common sense and overcome issues related to self-awareness, not to mention that even in light of evolution, people are still less than knowledgeable about how their brain affects their perception of themselves and who they really are.


Myers, D. (2009). Social Psychology. (10th ed.). Holland, MI: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

TED, (2011). Julian Baggini: Is there a real you? Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Is There a Real You?" September 14, 2023.