Psychology 3260: Personality & Social Development. Don Hartmann Spring 2007 Lecture 17c: Social Cognition-Identity. Overview: Identity. Test Overlap: Pp. 181-185 Lecture Erickson's theory James Marcia: 4 modes of resolution: Identity ‑‑diffusion ‑‑foreclosure ‑‑moratorium
Lecture 17c: Social Cognition-Identity
Erickson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: W. W. Norton.
Marcia, J. (1980). Ego identity development. In J. Adelson (Ed.), Handbook of adolescent psychology. New York: Wiley.
The evidence in young lives of the search for something and somebody to be true to can be seen in a variety of pursuits more or less sanctioned by society. It is often hidden in a bewildering combination of shifting devotion and sudden perversity, sometimes more devotedly perverse, sometimes more perversely devoted. Yet in all youth’s seeming shiftiness, a seeking after some durability in change can be detected…
This search is easily misunderstood, and often it is only dimly perceived by the individual himself, because youth, always set to grasp both diversity in principle and principle in diversity, must often test extremes before setting on a considered course. These extremes, particularly in times of ideological confusion and widespread marginality of identity, may include not only rebellious but also deviant, delinquent, and self-destructive tendencies. However, all of this can be in the nature of a moratorium, a period of delay in which to test the rock bottom of some truth before committing the powers of the mind and body to a segment of the existing (or a coming) order (1968, p. 235-36).
From Marcia’s “Ego identity development,” 1980:
Although some identity crises are cataclysmic and totally preoccupying, identity formation usually proceeds in a much more gradual and unconscious way. It gets done by bits and pieces…The decisions may seem trivial at the time: whom to date, whether or not to break up, having intercourse…Each of these decisions has identity-forming implications. The decisions and the bases on which one decides begin to form themselves into a more or less consistent core or structure. Ob course, there are ways in which one can circumvent the decision-making process: one can let previously incorporated, parentally based values determine one’s actions; one can permit oneself to be pushed one way or the other by external pressures; or one can become mired in indecision. (pp. 60-61).
Marcia: identified crisis and commitment as the major variables leading to a state of identity. These two factors generated his four‑fold classification of statuses, or modes of resolution, in Erickson's theory: identity diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium, and achievement
1. I haven’t chosen the occupation I really want to get into, and I’m just working at what is available until
something better comes along.
2. When it comes to religion I just haven’t found anything that appeals and I don’t really feel the need to look.
3. My ideas about men’s and women’s roles are identical to my parents’. What has worked for them will
obviously work for me.
4. There’s no single “life style” which appeals to me more than another.
5. There are a lot of different kinds of people. I’m still exploring the many possibilities to find the right kind of
friends for me.
6. I sometimes join in recreational activities when asked, but I rarely try anything on my own.
63. I date only people my parents would approve of.
64. My folks have always had their own political and moral beliefs about issues like abortion and mercy killing
and I’ve always gone along accepting what they have.
For more information, see www.uoguelph.ca/%7Egadams/omeis.htm