Identity verification is the ongoing process of controlling perceptions of self-relevant meanings in a situation so that they correspond to the meanings held in the identity standard that defines who one is in the situation. Identity control theory posits that when a disturbance to this process occurs leading to a lack of such correspondence, a person’s identities are not verified. As a result, they engage in behavior that serves to counteract the disturbance and change meanings and resources in the situation so that one’s reflected appraisals or perceived self-relevant meanings once again match the meanings held in one’s identity standard (Burke, 1991, 1996; Stets & Burke, 1996, 2003). Accompanying this cognitive-behavioral process, there is an affective response to the discrepancy between perceptions and standard (Burke, 1991, 1996). Prior work has shown that when the discrepancy is large or is increasing, negative emotions result; and, when the discrepancy is small or decreasing, positive affect results (Burke & Stets, 1999; Cast & Burke, 2002; Ellestad & Stets, 1998; Stets, 2003; Stets & Tsushima, 2001).
Burke, P.J. (2004), "IDENTITIES, EVENTS, AND MOODS", Turner, J.H. (Ed.) Theory and Research on Human Emotions (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 25-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0882-6145(04)21002-5
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