Cooley's Concept

Definition: How our self image is shaped by society

Founders: Charles Morton Cooley

Steps of the Theory:

  • Imagine how we appear to someone else, sometimes the theory is accurate and sometimes it is not.
  • We imagine how the person feels about us
  • We change our behavior based on how we feel people feel about us.

Social Identity Theory

Definition: Is a person sense of who they our based on their groups memberships

Founder: Tajifel

Steps of the Theory

  • Social Categorization- We categorized people to understand the  social  environments; stereotyping
  • Social Identifications- Adopting the identity of the group you are in: blending into your friend groups
  • Social comparison- When you compare your group with other groups

Self-Concept Theory

Definition: An image on how we see ourselves

Founder: Kendra Cherry

Steps of the Theory:

  • Self-Image- How you see yourself
  • Each person has their own personalities and characteristics
  • Self Esteem- How you value yourself
  • Ideal Self- How you wish you could be

James Marcia's Identity Theory

Definition: The processing of finding our true self results in finding what psychologist have our identity.

Founder: James Marcia

Steps of the Theory:

  • Identity Diffusion- You have no idea who you are and what you want
  • Foreclosure- People who have made commitments to beliefs and future but have not explore them.
  • Moratorium- People who explore options and experiments with identities but do not make any commitments.
  • Identity Achieve- People know what they are doing and have explored many options for themselves.

The Cooley's Theory is assuming how people see you and the Self Concept Theory is how you see yourself. The Social Identity Theory is about a person in a certain group finding who they are together, while Marcia's Theory was finding who are by yourself. Even though you are trying to find yourself all of the theories involve other people and how they influence or view you.

How do we form and shape identities?

We shape our identities on by the way we grew up and our experiences. We also experiment and try to find who we are, with the influence of the people around us.

In a culture where we are bombarded with ideas and images of "what we should be," how does one form an identity that remain true and authentic for him and her self?

If a person like themselves and can accept who they are, we feel like they can ignore the images of "what they should be".


Goodfriend, Wind. "James Marcia's Identity Theory: Understanding Adolescents'

Search for Identity." googledocs. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

Google Kendra Cherry, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

Isaksen, Joachim Vogt. "The Looking Glass Self: How Our Self-image is Shaped by
                Society." Popular Social Science., n.d. Web. 27
                 May 2013. <

McLeod, Saul. "Social Identity Theory." Googledocs. N.p., 2008. Web. 9 Apr.