The cognitive structuring of national identity: individual differences in identifying as American
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AbstractHow citizens view the nation and identify with it is an important element of the phenomenon of nationalism. While shaped by culture, this identification is also subjectively constructed by individuals. Most research on the psychology of national identity is oriented by the assumption that all people think in basically the same way, in terms of simple categories. We complement this approach by examining differences in the quality of people's thinking. While many people think in the simple concrete categorical terms assumed in most research, we argue that some individuals either do not think categorically or they think about categories in a reflective, abstract way. Consequently, these other people construct their national identity differently. To test this, we conducted an online survey that included interactive problem‐solving tasks to assess cognitive functioning and standard survey items to measure the quality and affect of participants' American identity. Our results indicate significant differences in the qualities of individuals' thinking that are reflected in differences in their national identification.
All Author(s) ListRosenberg S, Beattie P
Journal nameNations and Nationalism
Year2018
ISSN1354-5078
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2021-19-01 at 02:26