Identity-Based Motivation and Health

Daphna Oyserman*, Stephanie A. Fryberg, Nicholas Yoder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

295 Scopus citations

Abstract

People do not always take action to promote health, engaging instead in unhealthy habits and reporting fatalism about health. One important mechanism underlying these patterns involves identity-based motivation (D. Oyserman, 2007), the process by which content of social identities influences beliefs about in-group goals and strategies. Seven studies show the effect of identity-based motivation on health. Racial-ethnic minority participants view health promotion behaviors as White middle class and unhealthy behaviors as in-group defining (Studies 1 and 2). Priming race-ethnicity (and low socioeconomic status) increases health fatalism and reduces access to health knowledge (Studies 3 and 4). Perceived efficacy of health-promoting activities is undermined when racial-ethnic minority participants who identify unhealthy behavior as in-group defining are asked to consider their similarities to (middle-class) Whites (Studies 5-7).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1027
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume93
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Keywords

  • racial-ethnic identity
  • social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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