New IB: Social Identity Theory

Describing SIT

social_identity_theory Main AO1 handout covering all key features of the theory.

sit-terms-revision Match the key processes to develop understanding

If you wish to read the original work by Tajfel and Turner (1979), follow this link:


research-studies-on-sit: In class we will look at these studies and match them with the key SIT processes; you can use them in your writing as illustrative examples and/or evidence to support SIT.

Research Evidence: We will use a smart board file in lesson as we start to evaluate the theory. Much of the information can be found here by following this link: evaluation. You must refer to Tajfel et al (1970).

Listen to a podcast:

evaluating-sit-with-vicky-pollard: Why not use this sheet to think about the whole ping-pong, competing arguments game!

evaluating-sit-handout: Useful to help you when it comes to evaluation.

Let’s revise SIT

evaluate-sit-revision-cloze: This fill in the gaps exercise that could be useful for revision.



Let’s apply it! social-identity-theory-and-the-conference-cliques

Answers to conference cliques exercise

In many cities across the UK, social media campaigns have brought large groups of people together to show their solidarity with refugees in war-torn countries. People are able to join these groups at the click of a button and become part of a movement of people who share common values. The members of these groups often come together in real life, to donate many tons of aid to be sent overseas. However, group chat-pages, such as “Donate not Hate” are often also littered with negative comments from people who perceive refugees, and their supporters very negatively. The page supporters sometimes retaliate with equally aggressive comments.

a. Use concepts from Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory to explain why tensions arise between groups of people in our communities, in situations such as this (4)

2. Explain one strength of social identity theory with reference to research evidence (2)

3. Give a competing argument to counter the point you have just made (2)

4. Explain one weakness of social identity theory with reference to research evidence (2)

5. Give a competing argument to counter the point you have just made (2)

6. Evaluate social identity theory with reference to practical applications (3)

7. Compare social identity theory and realistic conflict theory as explanations of prejudice (3)

If you can answer all questions 2-7, you are well on the way to creating a great essay 🙂

IB Exam Style Questions

Section A:

Describe social identity theory with reference to one research study. (9)

Evaluate social identity theory with reference to research evidence. (22)

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© Amanda J Wood, 2016-2017

Wider Reading


In and Out-group Robots! Click the link to find an experiment on SIT and robots.

Check out this major new study major new study that aims to understand the Alt-Right

iraqi-adolescents: An interesting study that you could look at for further reading. Grade 7 alert!

Read up on Wetherall (1982) for yourself from the original chapter.

Read up on applications of SIT to reduce prejudice

Great website for further reading

Original paper for Fein and Spencer (1997)

Revision/Exam materials:

Describe social identity theory with reference to one research study