Tajfel an Turner developed Social Identity Theory (SIT) in the 1960s and 70s. Essentially, it’s a theory that attempts to explain inter-group conflict, including prejudice and discrimination between two groups.
Does your behaviour change when you’re in a group?
Think about how you might act differently when spending time with your family, and with your friends. Is your self-esteem and self-identity influenced by your belonging to these groups? SIT posits that group membership influences behaviour. Moreover, we try to boost our self-esteem by making our in-group superior to other out-groups.
SIT can be used to explain a range of behaviours, such as stereotype, prejudice, discrimination, inter-group violence and conflict.
Evaluate social identity theory, making reference to relevant studies.
In order to be able to evaluate SIT you need to be able to do the following:
- Describe the theory, including its key concepts and understandings
- Explain how SIT can be demonstrated in research
- Explain the limitations of the supporting research
- Explain other criticisms of SIT
- You might also be able to determine the extent to which SIT can be applied to various real-life situations.
Remember to check out this post on how to evaluate psychological research (including theories) to guide you through your evaluation of SIT.