Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Identity: Two objects are never identical. Identity is a single object, to which may be referred to with two different terms. The fact that two descriptions mean a single object may be discovered only in the course of an investigation.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Item Summary Meta data
Upton I 118
Identity/Developmental psychology/Upton: Aspects of identity:

- Vocational identity: Career choice and aspirations; current or intended occupation
- Intellectual identity: Academic aspirations and achievements
- Political ideology: Political beliefs, values and ideals; may include membership of political groups
-Spiritual/religious identity: Religious beliefs, attitudes to religion and spirituality; religious practices and behaviours; may relate to a specific moral and ethical code
- Relationship identity: This may refer to intimate relationships and be defined by whether you are single, married, divorced etc; or to social relationships such as friend, colleague etc; or to family relationships — mother, daughter etc.
- Sexual identity: Sexual orientation — heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual
- Cultural identity: Where you were born and/or raised and how intensely you identify with the cultural heritage/practices linked to this part of the world; may also include language preference
- Ethnic identity: The extent to which you feel a sense of belonging to a particular ethnic group; the ethnic group tends to be one to which you can claim heritage and the beliefs of the group may influence your thinking, perceptions, feelings and behaviour
- Physical identity: Body image and beliefs about your appearance
- Personality: Characteristics that define patterns of behaviour, such as being shy, friendly, gregarious, anxious etc.

Stages of development: According to Marcia (1993)(1), young adolescents are usually described by one of the first three statuses.
1) Identity diffusion refers to the individual who has not yet experienced a crisis or made any commitments. They are undecided about future roles and have not shown any interest in such matters.
2) Identity foreclosure describes individuals who have made a commitment to an identity without experiencing a crisis. They may, for example, have simply followed the ideologies and aspirations of their parents.
3) Identity moratorium is the term used to describe individuals experiencing an identity crisis and whose commitments have not yet been strongly defined.
4) Identity achievement is reached once individuals have undergone a crisis and made a commitment to their identity.

According to Marcia (1993)(1), young adolescents are usually described by one of the first three statuses. However, there is increasing evidence that identity development is not solely a task of adolescence. Indeed, some aspects of identity are already well on the way to being established before adolescence. Gender, for example, is one aspect of identity that is a key aspect of development at an early age, but continues to be built on as more complex under standings of what it means to be male or female are negotiated. Likewise, some of the most important changes in identity occur after adolescence, taking place during early adulthood (Waterman, 1992)(2)


1. Marcia, JE (1993) The status of the statuses: research review, in Marcia, JE Waterman, AS Matteson, DR Archer, SL and Orlofsky, JL (eds) Identity: A handbook for psychosociogical research (pp 22-41). New York: Springer-Verlag.
2. Waterman, AS (1992) Identity as an aspect of optimal psychological functioning, in Adams, GR Gullotta, TP and Montemayor, R (eds) Adolescent ldentity Formation (50-72). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Developmental Psychology
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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