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Abstract

The functional approach to identification suggests that people with a particular motive tend to identify with groups that fulfill this motive. Thus, identification should be strongest when individual motives and group features match. The present paper explores the predictive power of this motive-feature match principle. Participants judged themselves on five motives (self-esteem, distinctiveness, belongingness, uncertainty reduction, and power), rated several groups on features relevant to fulfillment of these motives (e.g., the group's power as to the power motive), and indicated their identification with each group. Although the most predicted Motive x Feature interactions on identification emerged, the overall fit between data and predictions was moderate. The reductionist nature of the motive-feature match principle is discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.