School of Psychology

Identity, Culture and Well-being

Three broad strands of research are concerned with the interplay of cultural values, personal and social identity and well-being. There is a long-standing tradition of cross-cultural research in the group.

Identity processes and motives

  • What are the key features of a 'satisfactory' identity?
  • Why are people happier with some aspects of their identities and less happy with others?
  • What makes people view some possessions, brands, places, and groups of others as 'part of themselves'?
  • What is the role of respect (from and for other ingroup members) in group processes?
People: Viv VignolesKaren Long, Matthew Easterbrook

Culture and identity construction

  • How do cultural differences affect the self-understandings of people in different parts of the world?
  • What is the interplay of culture and motivational influences on identity construction?
  • What kind of identity helps to make people more resilient against consumer culture pressures?
  • What is the link between identity construction and the consumer culture ideals of materialism and 'perfect' appearance?

Lab: The Children's Consumer Culture Project

People: Helga DittmarViv Vignoles, Matthew Easterbrook

Virtual identities

  • What are people trying to achieve when they participate in online social networks? Do their motives differ depending on their cultural background?
People: Karen Long



  • What is the relationship between materialism and well-being?
  • What is the relationship between consumer culture values and well-being?

Lab: The Children's Consumer Culture Project

People: Helga DittmarRod Bond Matthew Easterbrook

Inequality, stigma, identity, and well-being

  • What are the psychological factors that link structural inequality to health and well-being outcomes?
  • How does a group’s status affect the attitudes and well-being of its members?
  • How are self and identity processes related to the experience of social inequality?
  • Why do certain identities act as a buffer for stigmatised group members against negative outcomes?

People: Matthew Easterbrook

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