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Social Identity Theory

When people interact in groups or think of the way their group relates to other groups, they do not always think of themselves as separate individuals (I am John). Instead, they may think of themselves and act as group members (I am an environmentalist). In psychology, a distinction is therefore made between people's personal identities (referring to their individual self) and their social identities (indicating the group self). Social identity theory, which was originally developed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner in the 1970s, focuses on the interplay between personal and social identities. Its aim is to specify and predict the circumstances under which individuals tend to think of themselves either as individuals or as group members. The theory also considers the consequences of personal ...

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