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The Link Between Identity and Role Performance

Peter J. Burke and Donald C. Reitzes
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 44, No. 2 (Jun., 1981), pp. 83-92
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3033704
Page Count: 10
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The Link Between Identity and Role Performance
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Abstract

Despite interest in the influence of self-concept on behavior, research has been limited by (1) the need to better understand the mechanism by which self influences role behaviors, (2) a reliance on self-esteem as the only measure of self-concept, and (3) the absence of quantitative measures of self-concept. The research reported here is designed to test one formulation of the link between identity and behavior. It is based on recent theoretical conceptions of identity, advances in its measurement, and the assumption that identities motivate behaviors that have meanings consistent (isomorphic) with the identity. Data obtained from 640 college students are used to discover and measure four dimensions of meaning pertaining to the college student identity, and to assess the impact of student identities on the two "perfoance" variables of educational plans and participation in social activities. The findings strongly support the hypothesized link of identity and performance through common meanings.

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