Identification With Groups: The Role of Personality and Context

  • Sagiv L
  • Roccas S
  • Hazan O
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Is identification a product of personality or of the context? We examine this question by adopting a multidimensional conceptualization of identification (the CIDS model) that integrates research perspectives on personality and contextual effects. We investigate (Study 1) the relationships of traits to identification with the nation (students, N = 77), the army (soldiers, N = 220), and a business school (students, N = 123). Then we show that the modes of identification vary in their stability across social contexts and in their susceptibility to contextual change. Idealizing groups' symbols ("deference" identification) is especially stable across different foci of identification (Study 2): the military and former high school (soldiers, N = 188), the business school and the nation (students, = 62), and the military and one's ethnic group (soldiers, N = 95). Perceiving the group as a central part of the self ("importance" identification) is the most susceptible to contextual effects of priming values (Study 3; students, N = 80, 60) and the group's status (Study 4; students, N = 68).

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  • Lilach Sagiv

  • Sonia Roccas

  • Osnat Hazan

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