Cognitive processes and social identity through focused introspection


  • Thanks are gratefully expressed to Aquinas Fund, I.D.E.R.I.C. and NATO Human Factor Group for their support of various aspects of this investigation.


A method is presented to explore, empirically, patterns of social and personal identity: the social identity inventory (SII). The SII is based on free associations describing a person's principal group memberships (first order data). The responses obtained are used as stimuli to generate ‘second order data’ through focused introspection.

The results reveal patterns of relationship between self-representation and group representation, the differential probability of different group memberships to elicit self-representations, and the cognitive processes underlying the natural represen-tations of group memberships.