The relation between personal and social identity will be addressed in detail in Chapter 7. In this chapter, the focus will be on parallelisms and differences emerging between the traditional social psychological self-concept and various approaches to identity. The point to be emphasized is that research on social cognition fundamentally applies the term self to self-knowledge while various conceptions of identity in personality and social psychology generally focus more on the aspects of experience, affect and meaning. However, a common feature of most conceptions of identity is the emphasis on functionality. The self-complexity theory by Linville (1987), the self-discrepancy theory by Higgins (1987) and the theory of possible selves by Markus and Nurius (1986) all aim to make predictions regarding successful coping and adaptation. A complex self-representation ensures a better resilience to stressful events due to a larger buffering capacity (Linville, 1987). A high discrepancy among real, ideal and normative selves leads to emotional instability (Higgins, 1987). One is most motivated by one’s possible selves if these contain clear, relevant and moderately difficult goals which one considers important (Markus and Nurius, 1986).