Dse212 - Tma 01

TMA 01 – Part 1

Write an essay of 1000 words addressing the following question:
‘Knowing that we are the same as some people but different than others is part of the way in which people form their identity.’ Outline findings from experimental social psychology and one other approach that would support this.

      The experimental social psychology approach is one of many approaches that psychologists can take when studying the subject of identity. This approach uses findings from experimental studies in order to devise and develop theories about identity, and how it is formed and developed.
    One of the most prominent and well known theories about identity that utilises psychological experiments and their findings is the Social Identity Theory, developed by Henri Tajfel.
    Social identity theory (SIT) was designed to investigate the processes by which people identified with groups in society, and how they may discriminate against others who are not in the same groups that they identify with. SIT theorises that identity is formed by knowing both who we are, and also by defining who we are not. By categorising themselves as belonging to a particular group, and not to another, people can then be provided with ways of behaving and attitudes that shape their actions and beliefs. The feeling of belonging to a particular group was what SIT stated was important to people, rather than being identified as a member of that group by others. Tajfel split identities into two groups; personal identities and social identities, and stated that identity was formed through people's self descriptions and characteristics that they believe define the groups to which they identify with.  
    It is not only the experimental social psychological approach that can be used to investigate identity. Erikson and Marcia are two well known psychologists who were interested in creating theories on how identities form, but used psychoanalysis and interviews to obtain evidence to...