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Psychological identity

One's identity in psychological terms relates to self-image, self-esteem and individuation. It also has to do with whether someone identifies himself or herself as a man or a woman, in the case of transsexualism.

The concept that an individual has a unique identity developed relatively late in history. Factors influencing the emphasis on such psychological identity include:

  • Protestant stress on one's responsibility for one's own soul
  • Psychology itself, emerging as a distinct field of knowledge and speculation
  • The growth of a sense of privacy
  • Specialisation of function in early modern times, as opposed to the undifferentiated masses of socially immobile underlings in the feudal pyramid

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