Group-Level Self-Definition and Self-Investment: A Hierarchical (Multicomponent) Model of In-Group Identification

Colin Wayne Leach*, Martijn van Zomeren, Sven Zebel, Michael L.W. Vliek, Sjoerd F. Pennekamp, Bertjan Doosje, Jaap W. Ouwerkerk, Russell Spears

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1017 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research shows individuals' identification with in-groups to be psychologically important and socially consequential. However, there is little agreement about how identification should be conceptualized or measured. On the basis of previous work, the authors identified 5 specific components of in-group identification and offered a hierarchical 2-dimensional model within which these components are organized. Studies 1 and 2 used confirmatory factor analysis to validate the proposed model of self-definition (individual self-stereotyping, in-group homogeneity) and self-investment (solidarity, satisfaction, and centrality) dimensions, across 3 different group identities. Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated the construct validity of the 5 components by examining their (concurrent) correlations with established measures of in-group identification. Studies 5-7 demonstrated the predictive and discriminant validity of the 5 components by examining their (prospective) prediction of individuals' orientation to, and emotions about, real intergroup relations. Together, these studies illustrate the conceptual and empirical value of a hierarchical multicomponent model of in-group identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-165
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • group
  • identification
  • identity
  • self-stereotyping
  • social identity
  • n/a


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