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Culture and the Self: Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation

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People in different cultures have strikingly different construals of the self, of others, and of the interdependence of the 2. These construals can influence, and in many cases determine, the very nature of individual experience, including cognition, emotion, and motivation. Many Asian cultures have distinct conceptions of individuality that insist on the fundamental relatedness of individuals to each other. The emphasis is on attending to others, fitting in, and harmonious interdependence with them. American culture neither assumes nor values such an overt connectedness among individuals. In contrast, individuals seek to maintain their independence from others by attending to the self and by discovering and expressing their unique inner attributes. As proposed herein, these construals are even more powerful than previously imagined. Theories of the self from both psychology and anthropology are integrated to define in detail the difference between a construal of the self as independent and a construal of the self as interdependent. Each of these divergent construals should have a set of specific consequences for cognition, emotion, and motivation; these consequences are proposed and relevant empirical literature is reviewed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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... However, in collectivistic countries (Asian countries, mostly), both shame and guilt is induced by focus on specific behaviors (Wong & Tsai, 2007). This may be because people in collectivistic cultures do not believe in core self but consider self as more interdependent; that is, self can be defined by other people and be more variable depending on situations and relationships (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Consequences of shame in collectivistic countries are also similar with those of guilt. ...
... Some may argue that this argument has relevance with cultural differences of independent and interdependent self-construals. Markus and Kitayama (1991) argued that people in Western countries have independent self-construal. People with this type of self-construal tend to consider themselves as unique from others and as a separate, independent entity. ...
... These people also value their own cognitions, emotions, and attitudes. On the other hand, Markus and Kitayama (1991) argued that people in Asian countries have interdependent self-construal. People with this type of self-construal tend to consider themselves as connected with others and define themselves in terms of relationships with others. ...
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Collective guilt is a feeling that members of a perpetrator group experience for their group’s harmful actions. Collective guilt feelings are known to induce conciliatory behaviors such as reparations and apologies. While members of a perpetrator group experience collective guilt feelings, members of a victim group also often expect perpetrator group members to experience collective guilt. This is called collective guilt assignment. Collective guilt assignment could inhibit victim group members from moving past their negative feelings and inhibit intergroup forgiveness. Thus, it is important for positive intergroup relations to consider what may increase collective guilt feelings and what may decrease collective guilt assignment. The present research argues that a perception of psychological connections between perpetrators and members of a perpetrator group influences both feelings and assignment of collective guilt. Perpetrator group members may perceive psychological connections between themselves and perpetrators, which may result in collective guilt feelings. Victim group members similarly perceive psychological connections between perpetrators and other members of a perpetrator group, which may result in collective guilt assignment to other members of a perpetrator group. Collective guilt can be not only experienced but expressed by perpetrator group members. Thus, the present research also examines effects of expression of guilt and expression of preventing future harmful actions on collective guilt assignment. Chapter 1 provides theoretical backgrounds and develops five propositions. Effects of psychological connections on collective guilt feelings are formulated as Propositions I and II. Proposition III discusses effects of perceiving psychological connections on collective guilt assignment. Effects of guilt expression on collective guilt assignment are formulated as Proposition IV. Proposition V is related to effects of expression of preventing future harmful actions on collective guilt assignment. Chapter 2 (Studies 1 and 2) provides empirical support for Propositions I and II. Chapter 3 beings with Study 3 which examines whether victim group members perceive perpetrator group members as capable of experiencing guilt and other complex emotions (i.e., secondary emotions) for their harmful actions. This provides a basis to examine any potential effects of guilt expression. Studies 4 through 6 provide empirical evidence for Propositions III and IV. Chapter 4 (Study 7) empirically examines Propositions IV and V. Finally, Chapter 5 is devoted to general discussion of the present research. Each proposition is evaluated, and future directions are discussed. This chapter is concluded by discussion on implications of predicting both feelings and assignment of collective guilt by the perception of psychological connections.
... These exploratory results indicated that the concept of brand love in India is similar to that of interpersonal love, contradicting the earlier finding in the field of brand love. These contradicting findings were attributed to the cultural differences between Eastern and Western cultures, especially in the field of extended self (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). These findings create the possibility for future research into brand love via the triangular theory of love to understand how the changes in the perceptions of self influence the brand love. ...
... A very few studies have considered love as a relationship, and most of that studies are conducted among Western cultures. The Western and Eastern culture differ significantly in the areas of dogmatism (DeBono & Claudine, 1993) individualism (Choi et al., 2005;Kapoor et al., 2003) and extended self (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). The Western view considers individual as an independent, selfcontained and autonomous entity who (a) comprises a unique configuration of internal attributes and (b) behaves primarily as a consequence of these internal attributes which is different from the Eastern view of individuals (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). ...
... The Western and Eastern culture differ significantly in the areas of dogmatism (DeBono & Claudine, 1993) individualism (Choi et al., 2005;Kapoor et al., 2003) and extended self (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). The Western view considers individual as an independent, selfcontained and autonomous entity who (a) comprises a unique configuration of internal attributes and (b) behaves primarily as a consequence of these internal attributes which is different from the Eastern view of individuals (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). According to Markus and Kitayama (1991) when the American stresses on attending to the self, as the appreciation of one's difference from others, the Japanese emphasize to 'attending to and fitting in' with others. ...
... However, the effects were reduced in Asians as they were more comfortable with suppression (Butler et al., 2007). Expression and the experience of emotions (such as anger) are situationally bound and influenced by the consideration of others in interdependent cultures (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). More often, Easterners, compared to Westerners, are dialectical (the view that the world is inherently contradictory) and expect more change in explanation tasks and more tolerance of contradictory actions, which manifest differently in emotional experience, attitudes, evaluations, and perceptions (Spencers-Rodgers et al., 2010). ...
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... Participants then responded to scale measures of engagement, attitude certainty, and interdependent (vs. independent) self-construal (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). ...
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