Commitment to Self-Identification: A Sociopsychological Approach to Personality

Richard T. Santee, Susan E. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This paper describes a self-systemic approach to the study of personality structure and process. Personality is conceptualized as organized around the ways one is committed to identifying oneself. Central to personality structure are those social roles the person is committed to performing. These role identities are the fundamental criteria by which goals, activities, and situations are selected by the person. Associated with role identities are identity goals, self-attributed characteristics that the person is motivated to exemplify when he or she is performing a particular role identity. Normative expectations are the person's beliefs as to which behaviors will express his or her identity goals. Data from a longitudinal and a cross-sectional sample of students supported this conceptualization. The theory is contrasted with the traditional self-concept approach, and is applied to an analysis of personality consistency; development, and adaptability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1979
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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