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The influence of social identity integration on well-being, performance and information seeking behavior

WorkgroupKnowledge Construction Lab
Project description

The project investigated integration processes of individuals who possess more than one social identity because they belong to several relevant groups. Social identities can be more or less integrated in the self-concept. The project investigates the impact of group-based experiences (e.g., rejection, discrimination, failure, or also lockdowns, the Brexit or the elections in the US and Germany) on well-being, depending on the integration between affected and alternative social identity.

Prior research had demonstrated that negative events that affect one social identity can be buffered by a second social identity. Research on the personal identity has, however, found that this is only the case for independent identities. Therefore, the current project investigated how the identity integration affects the potential of an alternative social identity to serve as a buffer for well-being, collective self-esteem and affect in experimental and field studies. So far, the data from the project suggest that the complexity of the self-concept does not allow a reliable prediction of the effects that group-based experiences have on well-being, at least not depending on the identity integration. In a number of studies, we found that the effect of, for instance, gender-based discrimination was decreased / increased by the integration between gender and profession identities. These effects could, however, not reliably be replicated and will be further tested meta-analytically and with alternative measures of identity integration. The project contributes to a better understanding of individual adaptations to a heterogeneous social world and will help with designing circumstances to support intrapersonal diversity management.


Dr. Christina Matschke Dr. Christina Matschke
Tel.: +49 7071 979-201