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Explain social identity theory

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´╗┐November 14, 2012 Psychology essay: SAQ:Explain SIT theory The social identity theory was first developed by Tajfel and his colleagues in 1979, in the context of trying to explain prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice and discriminations are basically a result of stereotypes.Prejudice is an attitude while discrimination is a behavior.According to the Realistic conflict theory by Sherif et al.(1961),prejudice arises as a result of a conflict of interests. Tajfel however disagreed with Sherif and argued that the mere fact of categorization is enough to cause ingroup bias. An example of minimal group experiment ,(an experiment where people are assigned to groups on the basis of very minimal identifications), that explains thoroughly ...read more.


decision about how to allocate points to a member of their own group and a member of the other group.The results were completely rational and justifiable .The boys showed an ingroup favoritism ,preferring to allocate more points to their ingroup instead of the outgroup. In addition,they showed a positive distinctiveness since they preferred the option where they would allocate points to their team having the maximum difference with the outgroup ,sacrificing some points for their team. In order to fully justify the choices the participants did from the above experiment, we base our assumptions on the social identity theory ;a part of our self-concept that is based on knowledge of our membership of one or more social groups. ...read more.


of groups differences and ingroup similarities is called the category accentuation effect.Social comparison is when we strive for a positive self-concept.In when we continuously compare ingroups with relevant outgroups. The motivational processes refer to our general self esteem and self enhancement. In conclusion we must refer to some reductionist critiques of the social identity theory.SIT can indeed explain that we tend to discriminate between one social grouping and another. SIT cannot explain the criteria that we use for distinguishing groups and the meaning we give for them. For Foster ,the categorization of people into different social groupings represents an interpretation of the world rather than a description of it. Rosie Lamprakaki ...read more.

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