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New Directions in Identity Theory and Research$
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Jan E. Stets and Richard T. Serpe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190457532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Neural Processing of Identity-Relevant Feedback

Neural Processing of Identity-Relevant Feedback

An Electroencephalographic Study

(p.195) 8 Neural Processing of Identity-Relevant Feedback
New Directions in Identity Theory and Research

Will Kalkhoff

Richard T. Serpe

Joshua Pollock

Brennan Miller

Matthew Pfeiffer

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews a study employing electroencephalography (EEG) in a neurosociological investigation of the perceptual control of identities with a focus on the verification/enhancement question. In this within‐subjects experiment focused on the college student identity, researchers recorded scalp EEG and presented participants with both verifying feedback and nonverifying feedback, then adjudicated between the verification and enhancement motives. They examined the link between self-relevant feedback and emotional reactions. Overall, the EEG results were more consistent with self-enhancement theories, while the emotions results were mixed. Emotional responses for participants with more favorable identity meanings indicated self-enhancement, while emotional responses for participants with unfavorable identity meanings indicated self-verification, which may reflect a form of “depressive realism.” The chapter discusses the implications of these results for the future of identity theory and related lines of work.

Keywords:   self, identity, self-verification, self-enhancement, self-motive, emotion, neurosociology, social neuroscience, electroencephalography, EEG

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