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Identity Motives Project

Humans are a symbolic social animal, which needs that we need satisfy basic needs for food, water, affiliation and security, as well as needs around how we see ourselves and how we portray ourselves to others. This project focuses on how people construct their sense of self across societies.

Psychological research has shown that people in contemporary Western societies are motivated to see themselves positively (the self-esteem motive), as distinguished from others (the distinctiveness motive), persisting through time (the continuity motive), accepted by others (the belonging motive), competent and capable (the efficacy motive), and having meaning and purpose (the meaning motive). We don’t know to what extent these motives are also relevant for people in the majority world comprised of non-Western populations.

The project is led by Dr Vivian Vignoles at Sussex University, UK.

More information on the project, current findings, publications and instruments can be found here.