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Social Psychology Essay

2125 words - 9 pages

Identity is an abstract, complex and dynamic concept. As a result of those characteristics, identity is not easily defined. According to Pinney, a principal objective of one’s adolescent years is the formation of an identity, and “those who fail to achieve a secure identity are faced with identity confusion, a lack of clarity about who they are and what their role is in life” This suggest that identity development plays a critical role in the individual’s psychological well-being. Thus the necessity of understanding your sense of identity is self-evident. In summary, in this assignment, I’m going to discuss the importance of identity, and the relation between the identity and ...view middle of the document...

According to Hazel Rose Markus in 1977, he stated that self-schemas are cognitive generalisations about oneself, derived from past experience. The meaning is similar to the meaning of the term self-concept. Our self-schemas organise and guide the processing of self-related information. Self-schemas, like other schemas influence whether information is attended to and how easily it is recalled. Thus it is easier to encode things and remember things that fit into it. In additional, through self-concept we further construe the schemas to contain knowledge used to guide having and doing as it pertains to a particular societal role or personal identity. For example, when we meet people and we tend to treat them as members of a category rather than as a totally unique creature that we’ve never come across before. The category may be race, gender, religion, nationality, fashion style, and so on. This concludes that, with social schema, we are more likely to understand a person attribution and able to respond accordingly.

Now, take a look at the society we’re living in. Majority of us are playing more than one role in our daily life, from husband to father, from daughter to student, and for each role we enact, we ought to be clear of the responsibilities and a certain schemas on that particular identity we chose to play. In related to above, the importance of a role is determined by commitment to the role, which includes attitudes and emotions, participation in the role, and knowledge about the role. An important issue in career development is how individuals integrate the various life roles. (Matzeder & Krieshok, 333) It is important for us to understand the roles we play because each role we play has different goals, different standards of achievement. For instance, as an employee, that person are concerned with making enough money to pay his bills and groceries, but as a father he must have to leave those concerns aside so he can get on with the business of parenting: encouraging, nurturing, sometimes disciplining, and so on. Likewise, as a student, I am constantly measuring my assignment and performance at school, while as I’m in a relationship I am devoted to appreciating my boyfriend’s many fine qualities as well as his faults. Thus, knowing our responsibilities and expectations of ourselves in each role explicit helps us to evaluate how well we’re doing in each role, and that is when role identities come in the picture.

Moving on, understand the identity of the various roles we play helps to keep our head in order and prevent roles conflict. According to Marks (1977) theorized that role strain is a result of individuals' psychological commitment to their social roles. Role conflict often happened when a person finds themselves torn between two roles with which they identify, but each role has conflicting requirements. A very good example of role conflict is when a doctor who has two commitments, that of doctor and that of father. He...

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