Who Am I and Why Does It Matter? Linking Personal Identity and Self-Concept Clarity



The present chapter discusses the overlap and interplay between personal identity and self-concept clarity. Personal identity is framed as an active agent, the “I,” that sorts through and organizes self-relevant information. Self-concept clarity is framed as the object, the “me,” that represents the self-conception being constructed. The I is framed as creating the me through a process of self-authorship, where self-verification processes assist in this authorship and create turning points when the me is not verified and is in need of change. Personal identity processes, such as exploration, commitment, and reconsideration, are posited as mechanisms through which self-concept clarity is developed and maintained. The chapter also examines domain specificity of personal identity and self-concept clarity, such that a person may be clearer about her−/himself in some areas but less so in others. The chapter concludes with implications for developing interventions to strengthen individuals’ sense of personal identity and self-concept clarity.


Personal identity Self-concept clarity Exploration Reconsideration Commitment Narrative 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  2. 2.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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