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Antecedents and consequences of identity development

Working groupKnowledge Construction Lab
Project description

In the project we investigated how humans deal with different group memberships. More specifically, we focused on how incompatibility between different groups is coped with, and how different group memberships might be reconciled and integrated in the self-concept. Moreover, we investigated how the development of a new social identification and identity integration affects learning and well-being.

The investigation of incompatible group memberships was mostly done with newcomers. Newcomers can experience incompatibilities when different expectations or behavioral norms of the groups are perceived as problematic. Lab and field experiments tested the impact of motivation on social identity development and well-being. We could demonstrate that both internal and external motivation to be a group member buffer the negative effect of incompatibility on the new social identity and well-being. Moreover, we investigated the effects of specific forms of social support longitudinally in order to facilitate identity adoption and identity integration during the integration process.

In addition, we demonstrated the impact of social identities on collaborative learning in lab experiments. It was found that a shared group membership facilitates learning of factual knowledge and knowledge integration in collaborative learning with wikis. Thus, within the knowledge construction lab, the project investigates how the internal representation of social systems and its development affect knowledge acquisition and well-being.


Matschke, C. (2022). The impact of social support on social identity development and well-being in international exchange students. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 53(10), 1307-1334. request document

Moskaliuk, J., & Matschke, C. (2018). Impact of information incongruity and authors group membership on assimilation and accommodation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34, 204-210.

Matschke, C., & Fehr, J. (2017). Does identity incompatibility lead to disidentification? Internal motivation to be a group member acts as buffer for sojourners from independent cultures, whereas external motivation acts as buffer for sojourners from interdependent cultures. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, Article 335. Open Access

Matschke, C., & Fehr, J. (2015). Internal motivation buffers the negative effect of identity conflict on newcomers’ social identification and well-being. Social Psychology, 46, 335-344.

Matschke, C., Moskaliuk, J., & Kimmerle, J. (2013). The impact of group membership on collaborative learning with Wikis. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16, 127-131.


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