Volume 4   Number 1      Fall 2010

Dialogicality and the Construction of Identity
Anna M. Batory
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)
pp. 45-66

ABSTRACT:  Inspired by social-cognitive and dialogical theory of identity the research was focused on identity dynamics. It was assumed that there are two basic factors which influence identity organization: first, basic motives underlying identity formations which are: self-esteem, efficacy, continuity, distinctiveness, belonging and meaning (Vignoles et al, 2006); second, dialogical activity as an intrinsic property of the self (Hermans, 2003). The study explored the relation between identity structure and basic motives satisfaction as well as internal dialogical activity. It was hypothesized that the more identity element satisfies the motives and the higher its dialogical potential, the more it is privileged in the identity structure. Participants were 23 females and 19 males, aged 19-28. The research was conducted in the longitudinal design (2 stages in the space of two months). “Identity Ratings” questionnaire by Vignoles and collaborators (2006) was used to measure identity structure and motives satisfaction, and Questionnaire of Internal Dialogues Frequency by Puchalska-Wasyl (2006) as a measure of dialogicality. Because of the nested data structure (identity elements clustered within participants), multilevel regression was computed. The results confirmed that all abovementioned motives have to a certain extent important impact on identity (re)organization. Dialogicality proved to be good predictor of identity structure in its cognitive and behavioral dimension, that is perceived centrality of identity elements and their enactment. Identity structure is shaped by motivational influences as well as internal dialogical activity.