Identity Conflicts and Value Pluralism-What Can We Learn from Religious Psychoanalytic Therapists?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Does the way we think about our personal self-complexity affect how we accept others? Researchers have offered various conceptualizations of how individuals manage their complex identities, while others have identified links between cognitive complexity and acceptance of outgroups. This paper integrates the two bodies of work by positing a route by which personal identity conflicts may lead to cognitive and cultural pluralism. For individuals committed to multiple identities perceived as conflicting, the intra-psychic experience of value conflicts may lead to a recognition of self-complexity, which is then transposed from the personal domain to the social one and expressed as a pluralistic attitude towards others. This argument find support in a study of Israeli Jewish Orthodox psychoanalytic therapists who belong to what they perceive as non-pluralistic religious groups, yet express value pluralism, which they attribute to their complex identities. One of the educational implications of this study is that facilitating engagement with internal complexity, multiple identities and personal value conflicts may promote pluralistic thinking for individuals in religious societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-505
Number of pages22
JournalJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Cognitive complexity
  • Identity conflict
  • Religiosity
  • Therapists
  • Value pluralism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Identity Conflicts and Value Pluralism-What Can We Learn from Religious Psychoanalytic Therapists?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this