eccles09a - EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 44 (2), 7889, 2009...

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Unformatted text preview: EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 44 (2), 7889, 2009 Copyright C Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 0046-1520 print / 1532-6985 online DOI: 10.1080/00461520902832368 Who Am I and What Am I Going to Do With My Life? Personal and Collective Identities as Motivators of Action Jacquelynne Eccles Research Center for Group Dynamics Institute for Social Research Ann Arbor, Michigan Who am I? What am I about? What is my place in my social group? What is important to me? What do I value? What do I want to do with my life? These are all questions related to what psychologists call identity. Many theorists have argued that we are driven to answer these questions, particularly during adolescence. In this article, I summarize an expectancy value perspective on identity and identity formation. Within this framework, identity can be conceptualized in terms of two basic sets of self perceptions: (a) perceptions related to skills, characteristics, and competencies, and (b) perceptions related to personal values and goals. Together these two sets of self perceptions inform both individuals expectations for success and the importance they attach to becoming involved in a wide range of tasks. Within this perspective, then, I focus on the role personal and collective identities can play on motivated action through their influence on expectations for success and subjective task values. I also discuss briefly how personality and collective identities develop over time. Who am I? What am I about? What is my place in my social group? What is important to me? What do I value? What do I want to do with my life? These are all questions related to what psychologists call identity. Many theorists have argued that we are driven to answer these questions, particularly during adolescence (e.g., Adams, Ryan, Hoffman, Dobson, & Nielsen, 1984; Ashmore, Deaux, & McLaughlin-Volpe, 2004; Eccles, 1994, 2007; Erikson, 1980; Harter, 1998; Hig- gins, 1987; Kroger, 2004; Marcia, 2002; Markus & Nurius, 1986; Phinney, 1990; Sellers, Smith, Shelton, Rowley, & Chavous, 1998, to name just a few). In this chapter, I sum- marize an expectancy value perspective on identity and iden- tity formation. Within this framework, identity can be con- ceptualized in terms of two basic sets of self perceptions: (a) perceptions related to skills, characteristics, and com- petencies (the Me self in Jamess perspective; see James, 1892/1963), and (b) perceptions related to personal values and goals. Together these two sets of self perceptions inform both individuals expectations for success and the importance they attach to becoming involved in a wide range of tasks. Within this perspective, then, I am focusing on identity in Correspondence should be addressed to Jacquelynne Eccles, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, P. O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. E-mail: jeccles@umich.edu terms of its influence on behavioral choices, that is, in terms of its influence on motivated action.of its influence on motivated action....
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eccles09a - EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 44 (2), 7889, 2009...

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