Essay about How do we categorize oneself ?

651 Words3 Pages
Social Psychology

Types of Self and Identity
How do we categorize oneself?

There are numerous ways to define our identity. During the course of this essay, I will analyse these methods in order to gain a better insight as to how we are able to define our identity and self. Social Psychologists (Tajfel and Turner, 1986; Hogg and Abrams, 1988) have long argued that there are two distinctive identity groups that help to define types of self. These two groups are social and personal identity. Social identity highlights the part of our self that has been derived from our membership within groups whereas personal identity refers to both idiosyncratic traits and habits and close personal relationships. Human interaction is required to
…show more content…
The individual relational self defines the attributes within a relationship that contains self as a unique individual and other individuals. Generally, people can be defined using this model as I, you and I or we.

Despite the presence of two known theories of self, Markus and Kitayama (1996) still did not fully agree. They developed another theory, which specified two completely separate types of self. This was the Independent and Interdependent Self. The independent model highlights that the self is unique and formed from autonomous behaviour with the individual solely responsible to express their self-image (Heine & Lehman, 1997). However, the interdependent self is formed through relationships with other people that are maintained by meeting the expectations of others (Heine et al, 1997).

Upon evaluating the evidence as shown above, it has become evident to me that there are numerous different methods to define types of self. These methods vary in complexity ranging from the simplest 2 self model (Tajfel et al. 1986) to the more complex 3 self model (Brewer et al. 1996). These methods are all interlinked yet the 3 self model is most efficient as it is a refined version.


Abrams, D & Hogg, M.A. (1988). European Journal of Social Psychology p.325-334

Heine, S.J., & Lehman, D.R.(1997). The cultural construction of
Get Access