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ERIC Number: EJ890733
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Examining Emotions in Identity Theory
Stets, Jan E.
Social Psychology Quarterly, v68 n1 p39-56 2005
In this study I develop theoretically the role of emotions in identity theory by examining individuals' emotional reactions to identity nonverification (in a positive and a negative direction) and identity verification, which occurs once versus repeatedly, and which is perpetrated by a familiar other compared with an unfamiliar other. Predictions from identity control theory (ICT) are used to guide the analysis. An experiment simulates a work situation and invokes the worker role identity. Workers either receive feedback that is expected, given their worker identity standard (identity verification); feedback that is more positive than they would expect (a lack of identity verification in a positive direction); or feedback that is more negative than they would expect (a lack of identity verification in a negative direction). The workers' emotional reactions' to each situation are investigated. Contrary to ICT, identity nonverification in a positive direction results in positive (not negative) emotions; the persistence of verifying and nonverifying feedback decreases (rather than increases) the affective response to the feedback; and feedback from a familiar other does not significantly influence actors' emotional reactions. The findings raise some questions about current thinking in ICT and suggest important extensions for emotions in identity theory. (Contains 7 tables and 21 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A