Representations of the Self-Concept and Identity-Based Choice

AbstractWe propose a novel approach to identity-based choice that focuses on peoples’ representations of the cause-effect relationships that exist among features of their self-concepts. More specifically, we propose that people who believe that a specific aspect of identity, such as a social category, is causally central (linked to many other features of the self-concept) are more likely to engage in behaviors consistent with that aspect than those who believe that the same aspect is causally peripheral (linked to fewer other features). Across three studies, we provide evidence for our approach to identity-based choice. We demonstrate that among people who belong to the same social category, those who believe that the associated identity is more causally central are more likely to engage in behaviors consistent with the social category.


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