Identity foreclosure

Identity Foreclosure

Identity foreclosure is a condition in which, because of the availability of the alternative without actually pursuing their passion, an individual follows a character. For instance, even without thinking about his goals, my friend, whose parents are politicians, decided to help them. Being a musical artist, he chose politics instead of pursuing it (Legault et al., 2016). This can, however, change at a later stage as they begin to realize their identity or whether there is a crisis that helps them to get out of the foreclosure of their identity. My cousin is an example of a person with identity diffusion: when he was admitted to college, he did not know which course to study, unlike his friends who had already chosen their courses (Cote & Levine, 2014). In this case, identity diffusion is when one has not yet developed a distinct identity; therefore, the person is not sure of the direction to follow. One characteristic is that such individuals are not aware of their condition and do not seem to look for the identity, but it is simply not in the person’s mind. Identity diffusion can also be caused by the crisis which may hinder a person from achieving their interest in something they like.

Negative Identity

Another example of the developmental stage is the negative identity whereby a person disagrees with the expectations of values and beliefs of society. Instead, they decide to follow their beliefs (Tung, 2014). For example, my neighbors’ son decided to follow a different religion from that of their community and went to a different one because he did not want to be associated with it after he went to college. It brought about the conflict between him and his family even though that was his identity.


Cote, J. E., & Levine, C. G. (2014). Identity, formation, agency, and culture: A social psychological synthesis. Psychology Press.

Legault, L., Weinstein, N., Mitchell, J., Inzlicht, M., Pyke, K., & Upal, A. (2016). Owning up to negative ingroup traits: How personal autonomy promotes the integration of group identity. Journal of Personality.

Tung, S. (2014). A Study of Identity Formation Attachments and Adjustment in Adolescents.

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