Identity Regulation: Theory and Implications of Multiple-Identity Management
Saint Clair, Julian
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The present work provides a unified framework for identity research by synthesizing growing but isolated literature streams. Four themes arise from this synthesis. First, identities are collections of self-associated concepts that are stored in associative networks. Second, consumers seek to maintain cognitive consistency within their network of self-associations (i.e., regulate identities), where salient inconsistencies lead to identity dissonance. Third, consumers may employ a number of identity regulation strategies in response to identity dissonance. Lastly, several relatively stable cognitive structures may be utilized to organize identities, referred to as identity regulation structures. The author integrates literature from several subfields of information processing and self-concept to identify sources of identity dissonance as well as identity regulation strategies and structures. Practical and theoretical implications for the study of identity are discussed.
- Business administration