Self-discrepancy states that people compares themselves to internalized standard called “self-guide”. Self-discrepancy is a gap between two of these actual self and ideal self. Actual self is our representation of the attributes that we believe our actual possess (Higgins,1987). The actual self is a person’s basic self-concept and who we are. It is individual perception of their own attributes for example intelligence, attractive, athleticism and etc. Ideal self is our representation of the attributes that someone (ourselves and another) would like you. Ideally, possess for example it is representation of someone’s hopes, aspiration, or wishes for us (Higgins, 1987). The “ideal self” is what usually motivate individual to change, improve and achieve. The theory states that people are motivated to reduce the gap in order to remove disparity in self guides. (Orellana-Damacela, Tindale & Suarez-Balcazar,2000).
Self-discrepancy theory is developed by Edward Tory Higgins, the theory provides a platform for understanding how different types of discrepancies between representations of the self are related to different kind of emotional vulnerabilities. The self-discrepancy theory was the first to improve on these generalizations and assign specific emotions and affects to the disparity. The theory proposes how a variety of self-discrepancies represents a variety of types of negative psychological situations that are associated with different kinds of discomfort (Higgins,1987). A primary goal of the self-discrepancy theory is to help aid in predicting which types of incongruent ideas will cause such individuals to feel different kinds of negative emotions (Higgins,1987).
For example, I also can personally relate to the self-discrepancy theory. My ideal self is someone who always healthy, happy, independent, successful and a open-minded person. But my actual self at present is just a simple, kind, but also lack of motivation and lazy. Having all these personality will definitely make me feel a little useless and I am not satisfied with myself. I had not experienced many “lower” period in my life, but in which one or two people were out of touch, which in turn make me feel much more negative and unhappy. But I need to be more effort and try my best in achieve my ideal self although it still have a gap between my actual self and ideal self.