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Research Details

The Interplay between Goal Systems and Identities


Identities are collections of thoughts, ideas, and pieces of knowledge people have about themselves, which together constitute the self-concept. Socio-cognitive theorists conceptualize the self-concept as an elaborate, dynamic, memory-based structure hierarchically organized and comprised of interconnected “identity” nodes. Goals are the mental representations of desired end states. Goals and the objects or activities that facilitate them (i.e., means) are stored in memory in an interconnected, hierarchical structure. The cognitive structures that support goals and identities are intricately linked. On the one hand, the process and outcome of goal pursuit shape identities, and many identities evolve during the pursuit of important goals. On the other hand, identities determine not only which goals people choose but also the means they use to pursue these goals. This chapter examines the interplay between goal systems and identities and the unique roles identities play within goal systems.


Book Chapter


Rima Toure-Tillery, Jessica Gamlin

Date Published



Toure-Tillery, Rima, and Jessica Gamlin. 2023. The Interplay between Goal Systems and Identities.


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