Exploring Exploration: Identity Exploration in Real-Time Interactions among Peers

Kazumi Sugimura*, Jan Ole H. Gmelin, Mandy A.E. van der Gaag, E. Saskia Kunnen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

8 Citaten (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


In this short-term longitudinal study, we examine specific examples of identity exploration in real-time interactions among peers. The participants included 12 first-year students majoring in literature, social sciences, and humanities at a national university in Japan (M age = 18.2; SD = 0.39; 83.3% female). They were divided into four triads that participated in weekly 20-minute discussions for nine successive weeks around three identity domains: learning, romantic relationships, and career. Transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Seven characteristics of exploration were identified in real-time interactions: support, open disclosure, meta-exploration, investigating, creating an idea, conflict, and demotivating. In addition, these characteristics generated three major overarching patterns that advanced exploration: creating a safe environment for exploration, clarification and elaboration of the idea embedded in support essential for promoting exploration, and a combination of finding a keyword and repeating it on the border between exploration and discovering an aspect of identity. Overall, our results reveal that exploration in real-time interactions among peers did not involve a fixed sequence of characteristics; rather, it was vitalized by mutual affirmation, going back and forth among different characteristics of exploration while taking small steps.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)17-34
Aantal pagina's18
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
Vroegere onlinedatum15-jul.-2021
StatusPublished - 2022

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