Friday, October 9, 2009

The Psycology of Identification

We dicussed two functions of boundary yesterday, and I am interested in the function of identification. I was thinking: why people want to identify themselves?

I searched the internet and found a definition of identification: A process by which an individual unconsciously endeavors to pattern himself after another. This process is also important in the development of the personality, particularly the superego or conscience, which is modeled largely on the behavior of adult significant others.

Also, I found some psycological explanations for identification in Herbert Alexander Simon's book, Administrative behavior: a study of decision-making processes in administrative organizaion, 4th edition:
1. "Personal interest in organization success"
For example, I am a member of a research program. My benefit ( Am I using the right word?) is related to the program. The relationship between the program and me is win-win or lose-lose. So, I want the program to be successful. And I agree with Simon in this point.

2. "Transfer of Private-Management psycology"
For example, I am an ENE graduate student now. When I am talking to other people who is not in ENE, I use the term "my department" or "our" or "we". But I do not think this is an explanation. This is just a description of behavior.

I am thinking: maybe the reason of identification is communication, because human beings are social animals. For example,a man who labels himself as an egineer can easily find another egnieer to talk about engineering stuff. Otherwise, why doesn't he label himself something else?
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