Identity Poster

By: Lauren Shaw, Julian Mounce, Noah Griffin, Ivy Scales

James Marcia's Theory - Ivy

Marcia proposed there are four major identity statuses, or degrees to which a person has achieved  set identity.

Founder of Theory: James Marcia

Elements of the Theory:

1st: Identity Diffusion -  You basically have no idea who you are or what you want.

2nd: Foreclosure - Refers to people who have made commitments to beliefs and a future without truly exploring options.

3rd: Moratorium - People continually explore options and experiment with identities and beliefs but never make a decision or commitment.

4th: Identity Achievement - People in this stage have explored many possible beliefs and selves and have made commitments that make them comfortable and happy.

Social Identity Theory - Lauren

Definition: A person sense of who they are based on their group memberships.

Founder of the Theory: Saul McLeod


- Social Categorization - We categorize things so we can understand and identify them, same we categorize people to understand them. We assign them to categories so we can know how to communicate with them.

- Social Identification - We adopt the identity of the group we put ourselves into, We have an emotional attachment to this group. We act, think, and dress like other members of this group.

- Social Comparison - Once we have categorized ourselves, we start to compare the group we are in to another group, we do this because we want to make the identity of our group look better than other groups, to higher our self of esteem.

The Looking Glass Self - Julian

Definition: How we act depends on how others judge us, how people judge us influences how we act. We adjust ourselves to try to meet others expectations.

Founder: Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929)

Elements of the Theory:

- A person's construction of an "imagined self-image" is done unintentionally.

- The concept of the looking glass self offers insight not only into our own thinking, but also to how we form our identity based on how others see us.

- "The real social world" as we perceive it, is often not only wrong, but may even serve as an illusion.

What is Self Concept?


  • "Self-concept is our perception or image of our abilities and our uniqueness. At first one's self-concept is very general and changeable... As we grow older, these self-perceptions become much more organized, detailed, and specific."
  • (Pastorino & Doyle-Portillo, 2013)
  • "A self-concept is a collection of beliefs about one's own nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior. Your self-concept is your mental picture of yourself. It is a collection of self-perceptions. For example, a self-concept might include such beliefs as 'I am easygoing' or 'I am pretty' or 'I am hardworking.'"(Weiten, Dunn, & Hammer, 2012)


Looking Glass Theory relates to Marcia’s Theory because the looking glass theory is different from Marcia’s theory because Marcia’s theory because Marcia’s theory focuses on how a person commits their time to a group and whether they commit automatically or not. They are similar because both have to do with how someone spends their time and why they spend their time on that subject.

Looking glass theory relates to Self concept theory because the looking glass theory talks about how people take how others look at them and how they look at themselves to create their image in the self concept theory people use how they think about themselves to form their identity. The two are different because the looking glass theory talks about how people take the opinions of themselves and others into consideration where the self concept theory only uses the persons opinion no one else.

Social Identity theory relates to Marcia's theory because people choose groups based on where they want to commit their time and make an impression on people. They differ because Marcia’s theory focuses on how people make commitments whereas social identity theory focuses on where the person makes the commitment.

Social Identity relates to self concept theory because the social identity is formed by people wanting to make a certain impression so they join a group but the self concept theory takes the way that the person thinks and feels into consideration not how they want to make others think or feel. The two are similar because in both the person takes their own emotions and thoughts into consideration when they choose a group to join.

Social Identity relates to the looking glass theory because people join groups because they want people to get a certain impression about them. Social Identification is different from the looking glass theory because the looking glass theory talks about how others have an influence on who you are where the social identity theory talks about how you make who you are and others see you as part of that group you are in.

Self concept theory relates to Marcia’s theory because Marcia’s theory focuses on the commitments that people make, these commitments are formed through the thought process and the opinions of that person. Self concept is different from Marcia's theory because in Marcia’s theory the whole focus is the commitment of the person to a specific group but the focus of the self concept theory is what that person thinks or feels.


How do we form and shape our identities?

We form and shape our identities through the way other think of us, the way that our groups act and the way that we think we should act.

In a culture where we are bombarded with ideas and images of “what we should be,” how does one form an identity that remains true and authentic for her/himself?

Someone can form an identity that is true by staying aware of themselves and thinking about why they are the way they are.

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