The Relationships Between Motivations of Intergroup Differentiation as a Function of Different Dimensions of Social Identity

Taşdemir N.

Review of General Psychology, vol.15, no.2, pp.125-137, 2011 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1037/a0022816
  • Journal Name: Review of General Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.125-137
  • Keywords: Dimensions of social identity, Intergroup differentiation, Motivation, Social identity
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


This article aims to classify social identity-based theories of intergroup differentiation in terms of different dimensions of social identity to understand further the motivational bases of intergroup differentiation. For this purpose, I attempt to incorporate three lines of research in social psychology: (a) theories examining intergroup differentiation as a function of social identity, namely social identity theory and SCT; (b) studies suggesting social identity as a multidimensional construct; and (c) motivational theories of intergroup differentiation, namely subjective uncertainty reduction theory, optimal distinctiveness theory, and self-esteem hypothesis. It is suggested that subjective uncertainty reduction theory explains motivational basis of cognitive dimension, that optimal distinctiveness theory explains motivational basis of emotional dimension, and that self-esteem hypothesis explains motivational basis of evaluative dimension of social identity. Finally, the relationships between motivations of intergroup differentiation as a function of different dimensions of social identity are considered. © 2011 American Psychological Association.