Social identity theory revision notes

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  1. Evaluate social identity theory  

Social identity theory: assumption that individuals strive to improve their self-image by trying to enhance their self-esteem based on personal identity or with various social identities

  • By Henri Tajfel
  • People can boost self esteem though personal achievement / affiliation with successful groups
  • Shows the importance of social belonging
  • Social VS Personal Self adapted in different situations
  • SIT based on cognitive process of social categorization
  • Explains social phenomena such as in-group favoritism, stereotyping, and conformity to in-group norms
  • May produce competitive intergroup behavior
  • People who belong to a group (even when assigned) would automatically think of that group as their "in-group", and others as "out-group"
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  • When people are casually assigned to a group, they have similar attitudes and behavior, and a bond is often formed amongst the members
  • People exhibit in-group favoritism, and a pattern of discrimination with the out-group
  • Individual's self esteem is maintained by social comparison: benefits of belonging to the in-group
  • Outcome of comparison is important, as it influence self esteem

Cialdini et al 1976:

  • Aim: find out whether people really favor their own in groups more
  • Method: see the response of fans after a successful football match
  • Result: fans were ...

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