Social Identity, Self Discrepency, and Regulatory Focus Theory

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1. Define 'social categorisation'

  • Grouping different identities together, for example: 'blue collar', 'white collar', white, black, Asian etc.
  • Splitting society so that it fits into certain categories
  • An extreme practice of splitting different social categories into separate areas of the city - e.g. 'Dauntless', 'Abnegation', and 'Erudite'
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2. How does a low-achiever evaluate their actions?

  • Against their 'ought' self, what they think they should have achieved
  • Against their 'ideal' self, what they think they would ideally have achieved
  • Against their peers actions, and how they could have achieved better

3. Define preventional goals

  • Concerned with obligations and personal responsibilities, striving to achieve the 'ought' self
  • Concerned with personal aspiration and accomplishment of set goals, striving to achieve their 'ideal' self
  • Concerned with delaying difficult or important tasks, instead completing easier ones in an attempt of avoidance

4. According to Tajfel, what happens when people stereotype?

  • We exaggerate differences between the groups, and exaggerate the similarities between things in the out-group
  • We create barriers between the in-group and out-groups, eventually making it so that it is very difficult to exit the in-group
  • We project the insecurities of the in-group onto the out-group

5. What impact does evaluating against the 'actual self' have?

  • Causes an individual to view their performance as a success, increasing self-confidence, or increasing motivation if it is less than their potential
  • Causes an individual to view their performance neutrally, with no real desire to increase or better it
  • Causes an individual to view their performance as a failure, as they have not transcended into their ideal self


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