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Keywords:

  • social identity;
  • scale development;
  • personality;
  • cognition;
  • affect;
  • emotions

Summary

Individuals often identify with groups in order to either reduce perceived uncertainty or to feel better about who they are as individuals. This suggests that cognitive and affective identification are two distinctive forms of social identification in organizational settings. Because neurotic individuals are highly motivated to reduce perceived uncertainty, they will tend to identify cognitively with groups. Extraverted individuals, on the other hand, are highly motivated to enhance how they feel about themselves and thus identify affectively with groups. Across three studies, we develop measures of cognitive and affective identification and then show that neuroticism is positively related to cognitive identification, whereas extraversion is positively related to affective identification. We also find that affective identification provides incremental predictive validity over and above cognitive identification in the prediction of organizational commitment, organizational involvement, and organizational citizenship behaviors. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.