Identity and the Way Individuals Shape Their Identities for Themselves

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Identity and the Way Individuals Shape Their Identities for Themselves One of the central issues of psychology is identity and the way individuals shape their identities for themselves. People live in different regions all around the globe and are consequently exposed to a distinct type of culture, religion, education, family values and media. These influences instill certain rigid values in people from birth, which configures their self-concept and the way they perceive other individuals in the society they interact with. In many Western societies, the importance of personal achievement and glory are inculcated in people from early childhood. Hazel Markus and Shinobu Kitayama (1991) observed in a study that the culture in the…show more content…
In this study, two groups of people will be given the same questionnaire to answer. One group will consist of white Americans who were born and brought up in the USA. The other group will comprise of international Asian students coming from countries like Japan, Pakistan and India. It is hypothesized that the American group will respond by stating more responses that describe their personal traits than the International group will. It is further hypothesized that the International group will respond predominantly by identifying themselves with their groups such as ethnicity, religion and family, significantly more than Americans will. Methods Participants: The majority of the forty participants (20 white Americans, 20 international Asians) were randomly selected among the Amherst College students. The remainder of the pool of participants extended to the international student community of the Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges. The participants were undergraduate students ranging from freshmen through seniors, and included both men and women. Procedure: Twenty questionnaires were handed out to the Asian students at the Five-College International Students Association meeting in the Campus Center. The other twenty questionnaires were distributed among the white Americans in the social dormitories of Amherst College. The participants were instructed to read the questionnaire carefully and respond with five statements describing their identity.
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