David Reinhard thesis 2017

The Influence of Temporal Group Identities on Goal-Pursuit

David Reinhard

April 2017

Mentor: Ben Converse

I examine the psychological and motivational consequences of highlighting connections between past and present generations of an in-group. I hypothesize that connecting the present generation to its collective past causes people to feel connected to something greater than themselves, intensifies motivation to invest in the group, and increases the desire to leave a legacy. I integrate previously unconnected literatures that examine temporal group identities and offer a framework for interpreting their psychological dimensions. These dimensions involve the inclusion of different generations in the group’s identity, transmission of culture and events through the group’s history, and the affection felt towards past and future generations. I further propose these three dimensions correspond to either a cognitive (inclusion, transmission) or affective (affection) component of group identity.