chapter  12
Levels of Consciousness of the Self in Time
WithPhilip David Zelazo, Jessica A. Sommerville
Pages 24

As the chapters in this book likely make clear, questions concerning the self in time have recently been raised in the context of several overlapping research literatures, including those on episodic and autobiographical memory, theory of mind, and self-control. By identifying consciousness and two of its most important propertiesnamely, that it is both personal and temporally extended-as core concerns, these questions reveal more precisely the way in which these different literatures overlap: They arguably all address cognitive and behavioral consequences of age-related changes in children’s consciousness. In this chapter we characterize these changes in consciousness in terms of the Levels of Consciousness (LOC) model of the role of consciousness in reasoning and intentional action (P.D. Zelazo, 1999, 2000b; P.R.Zelazo & Zelazo, 1998) and attempt to show how this model contributes to an understanding of the self in time by making fine distinctions among several levels of self-awareness. In particular, we address differences among (a) past and future orientation in behavior, (b) a subjective experience of self continuity

in time, and (c) two levels of conceptual understanding of the self as a nexus of particular subjective experiences that are ordered in time. We argue that explicit understanding that the self persists in time is not required for a subjective experience of self-continuity in time and that this experience of continuity is manifested relatively early in development (e.g., in planning and intentional action late in the second year of life).