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Investigating the Role of Identities and Opinion Leadership on Risk Information Seeking and Sharing about Proposed Natural Gas Drilling in New York’s Marcellus Shale
Unformatted Document Text:  7 salience of particular identities proscribes behavior consistent with particular meanings (or identity standards) (Stryker & Burke, 2000). People engage in behaviors in an effort to match identity-related standards with appraisals from social interactions. That is, by “[deriving] a view of themselves…based on meaningful feedback from others” people attempt to “[modify] outputs to the social situation so that the perception input matches the internal standard” (Stets & Biga, 2003, p. 402). The extent to which this effort succeeds – a process called verification - speaks to whether and how these behaviors are performed and one’s commitment to an identity meaning (Burke & Reitzes, 1991). Higher commitment is manifested in continued performance, over time, of the particular behavior, which further reinforces meaning (Sparks & Shepherd, 1992). Moreover, people perform behaviors (and achieve verification) through the use of resources (Stets & Cast, 2007). Personal resources reflect beliefs about the self (i.e., self-efficacy); interpersonal resources flow from relationships (i.e., role-taking, trust); and structural ones speak to one’s placement in society (i.e., occupation, income, and education). However, this process does not occur in a vacuum. Multiplicity within and between identities has implications for behavioral performance and identity stability. For example, one may face inconsistent personal or social meaning within a given identity (Rizzo, House, & Lirtzman, 1970). Also, as Burke (2006) noted, efforts to verify one identity may impinge on the meaning of another, especially if the two overlap. To resolve such conflict, the standards for the conflicting identities will work toward a compromise that favors simultaneously achieving verification for both. Some researchers have argued that multiplicity can produce strain (not knowing how to act) (Sieber, 1974). Others, however, believe that it can lead to balance - working out a routine on when to act in different identities - and personal gratification (Sieber, 1974). Overview of Opinion Leadership

Authors: Clarke, Chris.
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salience of particular identities proscribes behavior consistent with particular meanings (or 
identity standards) (Stryker & Burke, 2000). People engage in behaviors in an effort to match 
identity-related standards with appraisals from social interactions. That is, by “[deriving] a view 
of themselves…based on meaningful feedback from others” people attempt to “[modify] outputs 
to the social situation so that the perception input matches the internal standard” (Stets & Biga, 
2003, p. 402). The extent to which this effort succeeds – a process called verification - speaks to 
whether and how these behaviors are performed and one’s commitment to an identity meaning 
(Burke & Reitzes, 1991). Higher commitment is manifested in continued performance, over time, 
of the particular behavior, which further reinforces meaning (Sparks & Shepherd, 1992). 
Moreover, people perform behaviors (and achieve verification) through the use of resources 
(Stets & Cast, 2007). Personal resources reflect beliefs about the self (i.e., self-efficacy); 
interpersonal resources flow from relationships (i.e., role-taking, trust); and structural ones speak 
to one’s placement in society (i.e., occupation, income, and education).
However, this process does not occur in a vacuum. Multiplicity within and between identities 
has implications for behavioral performance and identity stability. For example, one may face 
inconsistent personal or social meaning within a given identity (Rizzo, House, & Lirtzman, 
1970). Also, as Burke (2006) noted, efforts to verify one identity may impinge on the meaning of 
another, especially if the two overlap. To resolve such conflict, the standards for the conflicting 
identities will work toward a compromise that favors simultaneously achieving verification for 
both. Some researchers have argued that multiplicity can produce strain (not knowing how to act) 
(Sieber, 1974). Others, however, believe that it can lead to balance - working out a routine on 
when to act in different identities - and personal gratification (Sieber, 1974).
Overview of Opinion Leadership


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