We propose a new approach for examining self-related aspects and phenomena. The approach includes (1) a taxonomy and (2) an emphasis on multiple levels of mechanisms. The taxonomy categorizes approximately eighty self-related phenomena according to three primary functions involving the self: representing, effecting, and changing. The representing self encompasses the ways in which people depict themselves, either to themselves or to others (e.g., self-concepts, self-presentation). The effecting self concerns ways in which people facilitate or limit their own traits and behaviors (e.g., self-enhancement, self-regulation). The changing self is less time-limited than the regulating self; it concerns phenomena that involve lasting alterations in how people represent and control themselves (e.g., self-expansion, self-development). Each self-related phenomenon within these three categories may be examined at four levels of interacting mechanisms (social, individual, neural, and molecular). We illustrate our approach by focusing on seven self-related phenomena
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