10575 Identification with Groups 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Psychology

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including one of the following: Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Anthropology, as well as Social Psychology, Introduction to Statistics for Students of Social Sciences I, Introduction to Statistics for Students of Social Sciences II, Research Methods in Social Sciences, Participation in Psychological and Educational Research and Research Experience, Regression Analysis and Analysis of Variance. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

The course is based on an anthology of 26 research articles (in English) edited by Sonia Roccas.

The rise of nationalism in recent years in various parts of the world reawakens questions about the relationship between individuals and the groups to which they belong. Of particular interest, from a psychological perspective, are the motivational and cognitive mechanisms that cause an individual to identify with groups. The course focuses on the factors that cause individuals to construct their identity on the basis of their membership in broad social categories. Social identification is discussed from various perspectives: theories that emphasize needs and motivations, theories that emphasize cognitive processes and the immediate social context, and theories that focus on culture.

Objectives: To expand studentsí understanding of the motivational and cognitive mechanisms that cause an individual to identify with groups; To raise methodological issues in social psychology; To provide students with tools to enable them to critically read psychological studies.

Topics: The motivational basis for identification with groups, The effect of the immediate social context on identification with groups, Group characteristics and identification, Culture and identification with groups, Negative social identity, Identification with multiple groups, Consequences of identification with groups.


1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.