Hazel R Markus

Hazel R Markus
Stanford University | SU · Department of Psychology

About

148
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (148)
Article
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Japanese rank among the least likely to intervene to help a stranger in a non-emergency situation while Americans rank among the most likely. Across four studies, we demonstrate that Japanese are less likely to offer help to strangers because their decisions rely more heavily on the assessment of the needs of others. Accordingly, when there is unce...
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Importance Celebrity social media posts engage millions of young followers daily, but the nutritional quality of foods and beverages in such posts, sponsored and unsponsored, is unknown. Objective To quantify the nutritional quality of foods and beverages depicted in social media accounts of highly followed celebrities and assess whether nutrition...
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More than ever before, people across the world are exposed to ideas of choice and have opportunities to make choices. What are the consequences of this rapidly expanding exposure to the ideas and practice of choice? The current research investigated an unexamined and potentially powerful consequence of this salience of choice: an awareness and expe...
Article
How to identify the students and employees most likely to achieve is a challenge in every field. American academic and lay theories alike highlight the importance of passion for strong achievement. Based on a Western independent model of motivation, passionate individuals—those who have a strong interest, demonstrate deep enjoyment, and express con...
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How can governments and nonprofits design aid programs that afford dignity and facilitate beneficial outcomes for recipients? We conceptualize dignity as a state that manifests when the stigma associated with receiving aid is countered and recipients are empowered, both in culturally resonant ways. Yet materials from the largest cash transfer progr...
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The United States suffers high rates of preventable lifestyle disease despite widespread calls for people to take responsibility for their health. The United States also stands out in its rejection of government action to guide industry practices and consumer choices. Why? We examine how deeply rooted cultural narratives about “free choice” and “pe...
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The proliferation of products and services, together with the rise of social media, affords people the opportunity to make more choices than ever before. We suggest here that the requirement to think in terms of choice, or to use a choice mindset, has an array of powerful but unexamined consequences for judgment and decision making in general and a...
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Aim: To compare the prevalence of poor glycemic control in probability samples of Japanese and American adults, and to determine the association with their somatic phenotypes. Material and methods: Blood samples and anthropometric measures were obtained from 382 Japanese, 32-79 years of age, randomly selected to reflect the 23 wards of Tokyo. HA...
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Of the $69.1 trillion global financial assets under management across mutual funds, hedge funds, real estate, and private equity, fewer than 1.3% are managed by women and people of color. Why is this powerful, elite industry so racially homogenous? We conducted an online experiment with actual asset allocators to determine whether there are biases...
Article
We describe the rise of “opportunity markets” that allow well-off parents to buy opportunity for their children. Although parents cannot directly buy a middle-class outcome for their children, they can buy opportunity indirectly through advantaged access to the schools, neighborhoods, and information that create merit and raise the probability of a...
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U.S. Americans repeatedly invoke the role of “culture” today as they struggle to make sense of their increasingly diverse and divided worlds. Given the demographic changes, cultural interactions and hybridizations, and shifting power dynamics that many U.S. Americans confront every day, we ask how psychological scientists can leverage insights from...
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As the United States becomes more diverse, the ways in which mainstream institutions recognize and address race and ethnicity will be increasingly important. Here, we show that one novel and salient characteristic of an institutional environment, that is, whether a school emphasizes the value of racial and ethnic diversity, predicts better cardiome...
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In this article, we approach the relationship between neoliberalism and psychological science from the theoretical perspective of cultural psychology. In the first section, we trace how engagement with neoliberal systems results in characteristic tendencies—including a radical abstraction of self from social and material context, an entrepreneurial...
Article
Feeling good is linked to better health in Western contexts. Recent studies show, however, that the affect- health link is not consistent across cultures. We suggest two reasons for such inconsistency. The first follows from research showing that North American (vs. East Asian) cultures tend to value high arousal positive (HAP) states, for example,...
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Background Health mindsets are mental frameworks that help people recognize, organize, interpret, and respond to health-relevant information. Although mindsets shape health behaviors and outcomes, no study has examined the health mindsets of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse Americans. Purpose We explored the content, cultural patterning, a...
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Current theorizing on socioeconomic status (SES) focuses on the availability of resources and the freedom they afford as a key determinant of the association between high SES and stronger orientation toward the self and, by implication, weaker orientation toward others. However, this work relies nearly exclusively on data from Western countries whe...
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Failing to practice what you preach is often condemned as hypocrisy in the West. Three experiments and a field survey document less negative interpersonal reactions to misalignment between practicing and preaching in cultures encouraging individuals' interdependence (Asian and Latin American) than in those encouraging independence (North American a...
Article
Neuroticism, a broad personality trait linked to negative emotions, is consistently linked to ill health when self-report is used to assess health. However, when health risk is assessed with biomarkers, the evidence is inconsistent. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the association between neuroticism and biological health risk is moderated by be...
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Choice is a behavioral act that has a variety of well-documented motivational consequences-it fosters independence by allowing people to simultaneously express themselves and influence the environment. Given the link between independence and analytic thinking, the current research tested whether choice also leads people to think in a more analytic...
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Social class shapes relational realities, which in turn situate and structure different selves and their associated psychological tendencies. We first briefly review how higher class contexts tend to foster independent models of self and lower class contexts tend to foster interdependent models of self. We then consider how these independent and in...
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U.S. American cultures and psyches reflect and promote independence. Devos and Banaji (2005) asked, does American equal White? This article asks, does American equal independent? The answer is that when compared to people in East Asian or South Asian contexts, people in American contexts tend to show an independent psychological signature—a sense o...
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This collection demonstrates that the social divides that people construct and the behavioral differences they foster are lawful in their origins and their effects. The articles provide examples of how these social differences can be systematically measured and manipulated in pursuit of a comprehensive science of inequality. In combination, the pap...
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Healthy eating is important for physical health. Using large probability samples of middle-aged adults in the United States and Japan, we show that fitting with the culturally normative way of being predicts healthy eating. In the United States, a culture that prioritizes and emphasizes independence, being independent predicts eating a healthy diet...
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Previous experiments have shown that college students benefit when they understand that challenges in the transition to college are common and improvable and, thus, that early struggles need not portend a permanent lack of belonging or potential. Could such an approach-called a lay theory intervention-be effective before college matriculation? Coul...
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The study of motivation answers the question: what moves people to action in particular situations. A large volume of research provides compelling evidence that the answer to this question depends on the cultural context. In the individualist West, particularly in middle-class, college educated North America, the motivation for ‘good’ actions such...
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Given the paucity of research on poaching (hiring employees who are already employed by another, sometimes competitor, company) in India, this study used an experimental design with data from 164 Indian managers and professionals working in a variety of industries, to examine their perceptions of employees who are poached, of companies who engage i...
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African Americans can experience a double consciousness-the two-ness of being an American and an African American. The present research hypothesized that: (a) double consciousness can function as 2 self-schemas-an independent self-schema tied to mainstream American culture and an interdependent self-schema tied to African American culture, and (b)...
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This article seeks to forge scientific connections between three overarching themes (culture, inequality, health). Although the influence of cultural context on human experience has gained notable research prominence, it has rarely embraced another large arena of science focused on the influence social hierarchies have on how well and how long peop...
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Expression of anger is associated with biological health risk (BHR) in Western cultures. However, recent evidence documenting culturally divergent functions of the expression of anger suggests that its link with BHR may be moderated by culture. To test this prediction, we examined large probability samples of both Japanese and Americans using multi...
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Social class disparities in higher education between working-class students (i.e., students who are low income and/or do not have parents with four-year college degrees) and middle-class students (i.e., students who are high income and/or have at least one parent with a four year-degree) are on the rise. There is an urgent need for interventions, o...
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Hierarchy can be conceptualized as objective social status (e.g., education level) or subjective social status (i.e., one's own judgment of one's status). Both forms predict well-being. This is the first investigation of the relative strength of these hierarchy-well-being relationships in the U.S. and Japan, cultural contexts with different normati...
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Attitudes, theorized as behavioral guides, have long been a central focus of research in the social sciences. However, this theorizing reflects primarily Western philosophical views and empirical findings emphasizing the centrality of personal preferences. As a result, the prevalent psychological model of attitudes is a person-centric one. We sugge...
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"Tiger Mother" Amy Chua provoked a culture clash with her claim that controlling parenting in Asian American (AA) contexts produces more successful children than permissive parenting in European American (EA) contexts. At the heart of this controversy is a difference in the normative models of self that guide behavior. Ideas and practices prevalent...
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B. L. Benderly's Science Careers article “What is keeping women out of leadership jobs in academic medicine?”(7 January, ) about a recent report ([ 1 ][1]) misrepresents the study's findings and perpetuates gender biases by framing women's second-place standing in
Chapter
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This chapter reviews conceptions of psychological well-being and how they vary across cultural contexts, using research primarily from Japan and the U.S. Similarly, cultural differences in the meaning of mental illness and prevalence of emotional disorders are also examined. Further work shows that cinical interventions and educational practices de...
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Individuals with lower social status have been reported to express more anger, but this evidence comes mostly from Western cultures. Here, we used representative samples of American and Japanese adults and tested the hypothesis that the association between social status and anger expression depends on whether anger serves primarily to vent frustrat...
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America's unprecedented levels of inequality have far-reaching negative consequences for society as a whole. Although differential access to resources contributes to inequality, the current review illuminates how ongoing participation in different social class contexts also gives rise to culture-specific selves and patterns of thinking, feeling, an...
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Previous studies conducted in Western cultures have shown that negative emotions predict higher levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers, specifically interleukin-6 (IL-6). This link between negative emotions and IL-6 may be specific to Western cultures where negative emotions are perceived to be problematic and thus may not extend to Eastern cultures...
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Two studies utilized firsthand accounts from survivors of two major natural disasters—Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Chilean earthquake in 2010—to investigate (1) how people make sense of their disaster experiences and (2) who understands these events in religious terms. We found that describing the disasters as an act of God was among the most...
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Today's most pressing social challenges require people to recognize their shared fate and work together-to think and act interdependently. In the three studies reported here, we found that appeals for increased interdependence may undermine the very motivation they seek to inspire. We examined the hypothesis that invoking interdependent action unde...
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Background Recently, researchers have proposed that psychological resources might be key concept in explaining the association between social class and health. However, empirical examinations of the extent to which psychological resources to social class in health are still few. Purpose This study investigated mediating effects of selected psycholo...
Article
First-generation students experience a cultural mismatch in university settings. ► This mismatch leads to an aversive state that affects biological functioning. ► Independent norms produced a social class gap in cortisol and negative emotions. ► Interdependent norms eliminated the social class gap in cortisol and negative emotions. American univers...
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The literature on social class disparities in health and education contains 2 underlying, yet often opposed, models of behavior: the individual model and the structural model. These models refer to largely unacknowledged assumptions about the sources of human behavior that are foundational to research and interventions. Our review and theoretical i...
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Does local context (e.g., city of residence) matter for self and well-being? We theorized that it does because local contexts diverge in prevalent historically-derived ideas, norms, and products. Through historical analysis, studies of norms (tightness-looseness; Study 1) and cultural products (content analyses of newspaper headlines, venture capit...
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Analytic visual processing and holistic visual processing have been conceptualized in terms of attention to focal objects vs. the background. We expand the study of perceptual biases associated with these attentional patterns using the multiple object tracking task, which measures people's ability to track multiple moving target objects amidst othe...
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Although it is commonly assumed that social support positively predicts health, the empirical evidence has been inconsistent. We argue that three moderating factors must be considered: (1) support-approving norms (cultural context); (2) support-requiring situations (stressful events); and (3) support-accepting personal style (low neuroticism). Our...
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American universities increasingly admit first-generation college students whose parents do not have 4-year degrees. Once admitted, these students tend to struggle academically, compared with continuing-generation students--students who have at least 1 parent with a 4-year degree. We propose a cultural mismatch theory that identifies 1 important so...
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Emotions are for action, but action styles in emotional episodes may vary across cultural contexts. Based on culturally different models of agency, we expected that those who engage in European-American contexts will use more influence in emotional situations, while those who engage in East-Asian contexts will use more adjustment. European-American...
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What factors determine whether mixed-race individuals claim a biracial identity or a monoracial identity? Two studies examine how two status-related factors-race and social class-influence identity choice. While a majority of mixed-race participants identified as biracial in both studies, those who were members of groups with higher status in Ameri...
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Two studies investigate whether interpersonally engaging emotions-those that bring the self closer to others (e.g., affection, shame)-are central to the model of self and relationships prevalent in Mexican cultural contexts. Study 1 demonstrated that compared to people in European American contexts, people in Mexican contexts were more likely to re...
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This study investigated age differences in multiple aspects of psychological well-being among midlife and older adults in Japan (N = 482) and the United States (N = 3,032) to test the hypothesis that older Japanese adults would rate aspects of their well-being (personal growth, purpose in life, positive relations with others) more highly that older...
Article
Choice makes North Americans feel more in control, free, and independent, and thus has many positive consequences for individuals' motivation and well-being. We report five studies that uncovered novel consequences of choice for public policy and interpersonal judgments. Studies 1 through 3 found that activating the concept of choice decreases supp...
Article
The pleiotropic cytokine, interleukin-6 (IL-6), has emerged as a key factor in the biology of aging and the physiology of inflammation. Yet much of what we know about the normal functioning of IL-6 has been generated primarily from research on European populations and Americans of European descent. Our analyses compared IL-6 levels in 382 middle-ag...
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Current public discourse calls for America to act more interdependently in the world or act more like a conjoint agent. America and American selves, however, are typically associated acting independently or disjoint agency. Since nation is a significant sociocultural source of self, the authors examine what happens to American selves if America is...
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The media plays an important role in how the American public understands controversial social and political issues, such as immigration. The purpose of this article is to examine how key features of the media, such as location (Arizona vs. National) and political ideology (Liberal vs. Conservative), affect the framing of arguments supporting and op...
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The psychological literature indicates that people prefer to choose for themselves, but this finding largely represents a middle-class American perspective. The three studies reported here test the hypothesis that, given the material and social demands of working-class contexts, a concern for others can be normative and take precedence over individ...
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A cross-cultural survey was used to examine two hypotheses designed to link culture to wellbeing and health. The first hypothesis states that people are motivated toward prevalent cultural mandates of either independence (personal control) in the United States or interdependence (relational harmony) in Japan. As predicted, Americans with compromise...
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We tested the hypothesisthàgood feelings'' Ð the central element of sub-jective well-beingÐ are associated with interdependence and interpersonal engagement of the self in Japan, but with independence and interpersonal disengagement of the self in the United States. Japanese and American college students (total N 5 913) reported how frequently they...
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The study of culture and self casts psychology's understanding of the self, identity, or agency as central to the analysis and interpretation of behavior and demonstrates that cultures and selves define and build upon each other in an ongoing cycle of mutual constitution. In a selective review of theoretical and empirical work, we define self and w...
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Americans live in a political, social, and historical context that values personal freedom and choice above all else, an emphasis that has been amplified by contemporary psychology. However, this article reviews research that shows that in non-Western cultures and among working-class Westerners, freedom and choice do not have the meaning or importa...
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Cognitive theories of psychotherapy have tended to focus on the content of the self-concept as a key determinant in the formation of psychopathology. Studies in the field of cognitive social psychology suggest that people also vary according to the organization of information within the self-concept, and this source of individual difference plays a...
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Behavioral change is a complex and difficult process that is commonly marked by unactualized intentions, false starts, and relapse. Building on the cognitive approach to the study of the self, this paper presents the argument that resistance to change is an automatic, natural, and expected consequence of the information processing and affect regula...
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This study focused on a possible temperament-by-culture interaction. Specifically, it explored whether a basic temperament/personality trait (sensory processing sensitivity; SPS), perhaps having a genetic component, might moderate a previously established cultural difference in neural responses when making context-dependent vs context-independent j...
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People everywhere select among multiple alternatives, but are they always making choices? In five studies, we found that people in U.S. American contexts, where the disjoint model of agency is prevalent, are more likely than those in Indian contexts to construe their own and other individuals' behaviors as choices, to construe ongoing behaviors and...
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Four studies using open-ended and experimental methods test the hypothesis that in Japanese contexts, emotions are understood as between people, whereas in American contexts, emotions are understood as primarily within people. Study 1 analyzed television interviews of Olympic athletes. When asked about their relationships, Japanese athletes used si...
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Models of agency--powerful implicit assumptions about what constitutes normatively "good" action--shaped how observers and survivors made meaning after Hurricane Katrina. In Study 1, we analyzed how 461 observers perceived survivors who evacuated (leavers) or stayed (stayers) in New Orleans. Observers described leavers positively (as agentic, indep...
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Mixed-race individuals often encounter situations in which their identities are a source of tension, particularly when expressions of multiracial and biracial identity are not supported or allowed. Two studies examined the consequences of this identity denial. In Study 1, mixed-race participants reported that their biracial or multiracial identity...
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For more than a century, hundreds of psychologists have studied race and ethnicity. Yet this scholarship, like American culture at large, has been ambivalent, viewing race and ethnicity both as sources of pride, meaning, and motivation as well as sources of prejudice, discrimination, and inequality. Underlying this ambivalence is widespread confusi...
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Using experimental paradigms from economics and social psychology, the authors examined the cross-cultural applicability of 3 widely held assumptions about preference and choice: People (a) recruit or construct preferences to make choices; (b) choose according to their preferences; and (c) are motivated to express their preferences in their choices...