When “I” becomes “we”, even “illness” turns to “wellness”: Why group life is important for our health.
Vegetables, exercise and friends are good for you. Whereas you already know about the beneficial health effects of the first and second, we want to show you the importance of the latter. Have you ever spent time with friends and felt powerful, safe and indestructible in your group? That is because you share a social identity with them and this social identity influences your mental and physical health. Besides your friends, you have other group memberships – for example, your family or your classmates. These groups make you feel socially integrated and they are a great source of social support in stressful situations. In this article, we introduce the Social Identity Approach – a popular psychological theory, which explains how your feeling of belonging develops and why it is important to identify with a group of other people. Furthermore, we show how social identity can be manipulated and changed in the long term.
Here is the open access article.
Frenzel, S., Junker, N.M., Häusser, J.A., Haslam, S.A., & Van Dick, R. (in press). When “I” becomes “we”, even “illness” turns to “wellness”: Why group life is important for our health. Frontiers for Young Minds, section Understanding Neuroscience, 8:30. doi: 10.3389/frym.2020.00030