Self-categorization theory describes how the cognitive process of categorization, when applied to oneself, creates a sense of identification with the social category or group and produces the array of behaviors that we associate with group membership: conformity, stereotyping, ethnocentrism, and so forth. Self-categorization theory was developed by John Turner and his colleagues at the University of Bristol and described in a classic 1987 book. It is an integral part of social identity theory, often referred to as the social identity theory of the group, to differentiate its cognitive and general group emphasis from Henri Tajfel and John Turner's 1979 social identity theory of intergroup relations, which places more emphasis on motivational and intergroup dimensions.

In describing self-categorization theory, this entry gives some historical background and then ...

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