Evaluation of Social Identity Theory


Most empirical research into social identity theory has been undertaken in small scale laboratory experiments. There needs to be a wider base of large scale research to give the theory credibility.

Some people have criticised social identity theory as it seems to explain racism and perhaps even show it to be a normal cognitive response.


Tajfel did not intend to justify racism or prejudice in his explanation, particularly as he lost his family in the holocaust of WWII.


Social identity theory may not in fact show evidence of overt hostility towards the out group, rather it shows that a preference for the in group is the basis of exclusive practice.