Get access

Social identity and personality processes: Non-Aboriginal Australian identity and Neuroticism


Kate Reynolds, Department of Psychology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200 Australia.



There are ongoing debates both in personality psychology and social psychology on the causes and consequences of personality stability and change. Recent work on social roles suggests that as people change roles (e.g. employee to manager), different experiences and demands are internalised into one's self-concept shaping identity and personality. In this paper, the emphasis moves beyond ‘roles’ to other group memberships (e.g. ethnicity) in shaping one's self-view and self-rated personality (e.g. Neuroticism). The results of two experiments demonstrated that the salience of a particular group membership (as a Non-Aboriginal Australian) did significantly impact on Neuroticism. Such findings suggest that social identity processes may offer a hitherto neglected avenue for helping to explain personality (dis)continuity. Implications of these findings for both fields are discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.