Researchers have made progress investigating how the activation of an identity (“I am a college student”) influences behavior (buy books, study). Researchers have also made progress investigating how the activation of a goal (“I want to be a good student”) influences behavior (buy books, study). Because these areas have grown independently, there is a need to integrate them. To address this need, this chapter explores the identity salience principle, which posits that increasing the salience of an identity increases the likelihood that people will behave consistently with that identity. The author posits that when the activation of an identity (goal) may not benefit behavior, the co-activation of a goal (identity) may reverse this effect and generate beneficial behavior. Thus, this chapter uses a concurrent identity and goal activation (CIGA) framework to demonstrate that the interplay between goals and identity can help people make beneficial identity-consistent and goal-consistent choices.
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