Evaluate Social Identity Theory, Making Reference To Relevant Studies

1042 words - 5 pages

Social identity theory, it is a person’s sense that is based around the group they are in, either by their personal identity or with different kinds of social identities. That is, people will try to improve their own image of themselves. The theory was proposed by Henri Tajfel. People can increase their self-esteem by both their own achievement and interaction with a successful group of people. This shows the importance of social belonging. This theory is based around three mental processes, social categorization, social identification and social comparison.
People who are in a group or belong to and even assigned to the group, they would naturally think of the member within that group as ...view middle of the document...

Research found that people would use “we” more to describe their university's team when the team win and uses “they” more when the team loses. The study demonstrated that people would seek out for a positive social identity, their own identity is affected by their group and would be more flavor to anything that the group represents. This supports the theory as it agree with the concept of social categorization.
The second mental process is social identity. This can explain the behavior of member interaction within a group. Tajfel discover that when people are assigned to a group randomly, by anyway possible, they would then identify themselves and the other who are assign to the same group to be the in-group and others as the out-group. This can be seen in the study Tajfel (1970). The study aim to show that people that was put in a group is enough to create discrimination to flavor their own group and against other member of other group. Researchers gather 48 boy students from Bristol which have known each other well then randomly assign each into two groups, Klee and Kandinsky artwork but without painter’s signature. And they were told that they were participating in a decision making experiment based on their preference between two artworks. Each student were told to score the likeness of the artwork in the given a booklet on the matrix, they were also told that each point they receive worth one tenth of a penny. The two rows in the booklet was labeled with “these are reward and penalties for member number” and for each row, “of your group” and “of the other group” with a predefined score to give on each cell in the matrix. The students then must fill each cell with assigned codes of other students. The result shows the boys tend to favour of an ingroup member over the other group which is the “out-group”. that the two group maximize the points their own group make. This study demonstrated that being in a group is enough to cause discrimination in decision making.
The third key mental process involve is social comparison. Once they have categorize...

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