The key phrase is 'not having experienced them.'

For instance, I have never been to New Zealand. I have never interacted with people from New Zealand. I have lived all my life in another country, but I identify, politically and socially, with people from New Zealand. I follow New Zealand news, sports, media, cuisine, etc. In such a scenario, would psychologists consider my national identity to be that of 'X' or of New Zealand, considering that I identify purely with New Zealand, albeit never having interacted personally with any real part of it? I've looked at everything from New Zealand from afar. So can I choose for my national identity to be Kiwi?

Generalizing, if we pick these identities (say, I call myself a Kiwi), are they truly identities, even though we don't truly know them? What are the defining features of a 'psychological identity?'

(This is a purely hypothetical scenario, and New Zealand was just a supposition.)

Edit: Regarding psychological identities, I tried to find out exactly how they're defined. For instance, one definition I found was "the memories, experiences, relationships, and values that create one’s sense of self." Another I found was "the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person." These are just two, but everything I came across was similar to these. All these definitions rely on 'beliefs' and 'sense of self,' but is that enough to accurately describe oneself? I could call myself a Kiwi, but I have no relation at all to the actual group of real Kiwis. So there's a sort of state where I call myself Kiwi, but no part of me knows anything about being a Kiwi. So, is my individual belief enough? Or does there have to be consensus among people for it to really be an identity?

National identity, for instance, is a psychological identity according to the definitions because it involves a sense of belonging on my part. But in my supposition, I believe myself to have that identity, but people who are really Kiwi, in this case, will disagree. So coming back to the question, is individual belief sufficient, or is consensus necessary?

  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisRogers I'm new to psychology, so I wasn't aware of the ambiguity of the definition of identities. Sorry about that. I've included a few of the definitions I based my question on. $\endgroup$
    – AlphaRogue
    Sep 10 at 17:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to psych.SE. I disagree with @ AliceD and @ ChrisRogers, as I don't think definitions help here. I am not sure if this is just another thinly disguised question about gender-identity (replace Kiwi with the opposite gender), but such questions have been closed in the past for being opinion-based. In virtually all psychology research that I am aware of, identity is self-reported, so no consensus is required. This is not a forum for discussion - but check out slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/21/… instead. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Sep 10 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @ArnonWeinberg I assure you, it was never related to gender identity, and my original question was about national identity itself, which I later expanded to psychological identity in general. Thanks for the link! $\endgroup$
    – AlphaRogue
    Sep 10 at 18:35

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