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'I' Value Freedom, but 'We' Value Relationships: Self-construal Priming Mirrors Cultural Differences in Judgment, Psychological Science

Abstract

A robust difference between Western and Eastern cultures is the extent to which the self is construed in an independent or interdependent fashion. Indeed, the distinction between these types of self-construal has been hypothesized to be a driving force in shaping cultural differences in world-views and social behavior (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Triandis, 1989). The current studies provide a unique test of this hypothesis by investigating whether the situational activation of independent or interdependent self-construals within a culture could result in differences in psychological world-view that mirror those traditionally found between cultures. In Experiment 1, European-American participants primed with interdependence displayed congruent shifts in social values and judgments that were mediated by corresponding shifts in self-construal. Experiment 2 extended this effect by showing that students from both the U.S. and Hong Kong were more strongly affected by primes that were inconsistent with their predominant cultural world-view, and thus shifted self-construal to a greater degree.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Wendi Gardner, Shira Gabriel, Angela Y. Lee

Date Published

1999

Citations

Gardner, Wendi, Shira Gabriel, and Angela Y. Lee. 1999. 'I' Value Freedom, but 'We' Value Relationships: Self-construal Priming Mirrors Cultural Differences in Judgment. Psychological Science. 10(4): 321-326.

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