Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Uncertainty-Identity Theory

  • Joseph A. WagonerEmail author
  • Michael A. Hogg
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1195-1


Uncertainty-identity theory is a social psychological theory of the motivational role played by self-uncertainty in group processes and intergroup relations. The key premise is that people identify with social groups to decrease feelings of self-related uncertainty.


Uncertainty-identity theory (Hogg 2000, 2007, 2012) is a social psychological theory that addresses the motivational components underlying intragroup and intergroup processes. It theorizes that people are motivated to reduce uncertainty about important aspects of their self, life, and future. One effective method that reduces self-related uncertainty is the process of group identification and self-categorization; specifically, uncertainty-identity theory claims that strengthening group identification can attenuate uncertainty related to one’s self, life, and future. This analysis is grounded in social identity theory, which invokes a social cognitive and social interactive process to understand how...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Claremont Graduate UniversityClaremontUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christian Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada