Sociocultural Approaches: Social Identity Theory Flashcards

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Social Identity

A person's sense of who they are based on their group membership

People's views of the world are resistant to change and developed by the community and culture

culture influences human behavior


Social Identity Thoery

Proposed by Tajfel and Turner (1979); States that an individual's sense of self is developed on the basis of group membership and this identity is shared wi3th other members of the same group

  • social groups give us a sense of social identity and are an important source of pride and self-esteem.


Social Categorization

The process in which we organize people into social groups in order to understand our social world; the development of in-groups and out-groups.

  • in-groups: groups you identify with
  • out-groups: groups we don't identify with

enables us to identify people, including ourselves, on the basis of groups we identify with

  • we do this in order to understand each other better.


Social Identification Number

the process of adopting the identity and behavior of the group we have "categorized" ourselves as belonging to.

  • socially identifying with a group leads individuals to behave in the way they believe members of the group should behave... derived from social norms.
  • having this social identity increases self-esteem and gives us a sense of belonging.


Social Comparison

The process by which people compare their in-groups with their out-groups.

  • as social identity is important for self-esteem, we're motivated to make comparisons that are favorable for our gorup
  • we look for ways to make our group seem better that the other group.. aka positive distinctiveness: as individual's motivation to show that an in-group is preferrable to an out-group
  • This process can lead to prejudice and if you have power to influence the out-group, discrimination.


Study Used

Tajfel et al. (1971)