Overlap scales for measuring relations between self, ingroup, and outgroup

When we describe relations between groups or between self and groups, we often use spatial metaphors of inclusion or overlap. Aron et al. (1991) have used this insight to design graphical measures for the relation between self and other persons. In a recent paper, we extended this approach and developed graphical items to measure the relation between self and groups (Schubert & Otten 2002). Our Overlap of Self, Ingroup, and Outgroup Scale (OSIO) consists of three graphical items:

If you do not have access to the journal Self & Identity, please mail me, and I am happy to send you a copy of the paper. Below, you can also download a word file with the scales themselves.

If you are interested in these measures, you may also want to consult Coats, Smith, Claypool and Banner (2000) and Tropp & Wright (2001), who also use an item of self-ingroup overlap to measure the relation between self and ingroup.

We are currently continuing this line of research, looking at different ways to describe the relation between self and ingroup. Hopefully, we can soon publish an online questionnaire here as well.

If you have questions or comments, mail us: Thomas Schubert, sth@uni-jena.de, or Sabine Otten, S.Otten@ppsw.rug.nl


Aron, A., Aron, E. N., & Smollan, D. (1992). Inclusion of Other in the Self scale and the structure of interpersonal closeness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 596-612.

Coats, S., Smith, E. R., Claypool, H. M., & Banner, M. J. (2000). Overlapping mental representations of self and in-group: Reaction time evidence and its relationship with explicit measures of group identification. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 304-315.

Schubert, T., & Otten, S. (2002). Overlap of self, ingroup, and outgroup: Pictorial measures of self-categorization. Self & Identity, 1(4), 535-576.

Tropp, L. R. & Wright, S. C. (2001). Ingroup identification as the inclusion of ingroup in the self. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 585-600.