Psychology and Identity Essay example

Submitted By taylah197
Words: 318
Pages: 2

An important part of identity in psychology is gender identity, as this dictates to a significant degree how an individual views him or herself both as a person and in relation to other people, ideas and nature. Other aspects of identity, such as racial, religious, ethnic, occupational… etc. may also be more or less significant – or significant in some situations but not in others (Weinreich & Saunderson 2003 pp26–34). In cognitive psychology, the term "identity" refers to the capacity for self-reflection and the awareness of self (Leary & Tangney 2003, p. 3).

The inclusiveness of Weinreich’s definition (above) directs attention to the totality of one’s identity at a given phase in time, and assists in elucidating component aspects of one’s total identity, such as one’s gender identity, ethnic identity, occupational identity and so on. The definition readily applies to the young child, the adolescent, the young adult, and the older adult in various phases of the lifecycle. Clearly, depending on whether one is a young child or an adult at the height of one’s powers, how one construes oneself as one was in the past will refer to very different salient experiential markers. Likewise, how one construes oneself as one aspires to be in the future will differ considerably according to one’s age and accumulated experiences. (Weinreich & Saunderson, (eds) 2003, pp 26–34).

Sociology places some explanatory weight on the concept of role-behavior. The notion of identity