Social Identity Theory

question

Self concept
answer

A cognitive representation of the self, which coordinates with an individual’s self perception. People categorize and evaluate themselves based on physical characteristics and skills as well as social categories (e.g. gender and race).
question

Self esteem
answer

Based on evaluation of self along a positive-negative continuum
question

Self categorization theory
answer

Turner 1982; distinguished between one’s personal identity and one’s social identity. Identity is the result of categorization- for example, gender, ethnicity, or nationality.
question

Social Identity theory
answer

Our social identity is derived from the social groups that we belong to (in-groups) and the groups that we don’t belong to (out-groups). We derive self-esteem by positively differentiating our in-groups and out-groups. Therefore we tend to categorize our social environment into groups. Favor in-groups over out-groups.
question

Social identity
answer

Part of an individual’s self concept comes from knowledge of his or her social group including the value and emotional significance related to that group membership.
question

Social Categorization
answer

Into in-groups and out-groups is a cognitive process. The more important and meaningful the membership, the more it forms the basis of an individual’s social identity. Individuals strive for a positive self concept and social identity.
question

Social comparison
answer

Between one’s own group and other groups contributes to a positive or negative social identity. May contribute to positive distinctiveness or negative distinctiveness.
question

Discrimination
answer

Seen as a way to establish positive in-group distinctiveness. Out-group members are seen as similar with negative traits.
question

Categorization and social comparison
answer

People are categorized based upon shared characteristics. This determines our group memberships. Helps to distinctiveness of an in-group.
question

In-group favoritism
answer

Group members are seen as individuals with positive traits.
question

Minimal group paradigm
answer

Tajfel 1970; UK schoolbuys were placed into groups based on their response to an initial task. In second experiment they were categorized based on artistic ability, then asked to give small amounts of money to the other boys. Gave more money to the members of their own group and in second experiment maximized the difference between in-group and out-group.
question

Strengths of social identity theory
answer

Can explain mechanisms involved in establishing positive distinctiveness. Shows intergroup conflict is not required for discrimination. Can be applied to understand favoritism and conformity.
question

Limitations of social identity theory
answer

Minimal group experiments criticized for artificiality, questioned whether adults can be generalized. Social groups normally not of minimal feature. Group members more info. about social context than categorization.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member