Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Beike, Denise

Committee Member/Reader

Cavell, Tim

Committee Member/Second Reader

Nolen, Erin

Committee Member/Third Reader

Warren, Ron


Relationships and identity are fundamental aspects of the human experience. Thus, it is vital for us to understand how these two factors are connected. In the present study, I hope to further advance our understanding by identifying psychological mechanisms that occur between individuals and close others, which could be related to their identity. Two hundred participants were recruited using Prolific, a crowd-sourcing platform for research, and they were paid $2.00 each for participation. Through a self-report survey, participants were asked to measure their Sense of Identity (SOI) on an eight-item scale. Then, they were asked to think of someone who influenced their Sense of Identity, provide an anecdote of how that close other affected them, and rate how impactful this experience was. Lastly, participants were asked to complete an Identity Mechanisms Scale (IMS) that the researchers created, which contains ten psychological mechanisms that could affect identity. Results show that five of these relational mechanisms (closeness, self-verification, competence, relatedness, and others’ self-disclosure) are significantly related to participants’ Sense of Identity. That is, participants with a stronger Sense of Identity reported having closer relationships, that others tell them the truth about themselves, that others make them feel competent, that others make them feel they belong, and that others share thoughts and feelings with them. I hope that this study can serve as a foundation for further research, offering implications for both social and developmental psychologists. Additionally, the findings could benefit clinical practitioners as well, helping patients foster healthy relationship dynamics and positive identity development.


identity, sense of identity, relationships, closeness, psychological mechanisms

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Psychology Commons