A Social Identity Perspective of Personality Differences between Fan and Non-Fan Identities

Stephen Reysen, Courtney N. Plante, Sharon E. Roberts, Kathleen C. Gerbasi


In three studies of fan communities we examined differences in the Big Five personality traits between fans' personal and fan identities. In all three studies, self-identified furries completed a measure of the Big Five personality traits for both their personal and furry identity. In Study 1, furries were found to rate all five dimensions higher when referring to their furry (vs. personal) identity. In Study 2 we replicated these results and further found that the effect was not limited to furries: sport fans also reported different personality ratings when referring to their fan or personal identity. In Study 3, we again replicated the results while testing predictors of personality differences between salient identities. A path model showed that felt connection to one's fandom identity predicted greater frequency of fandom identity salience, which, in turn, predicted greater personality disparity between identities. Taken together, the results suggest the role of the social identity perspective in explaining inconsistencies in personality.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/wjssr.v2n1p91


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