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8. Selfhood and personality

the psychology of identitylocked

  • Florian Coulmas


‘Selfhood and personality: the psychology of identity’ considers how psychology deals with the question ‘Who am I?’. Rather than a fixed state, personal identity is an ongoing project. The individual forms his or her identity by identifying with someone or something. Individuals who are unable to reconcile competing personal and social demands may suffer an identity crisis, an experience once associated with adolescence, which, however, in recent decades has been linked to mental troubles in adult life stages, too. Personal identity is something we are, something we have, and something we act. We perform acts of identity following culture-specific stage directions that leave room for individual expressivity.

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