Hazel Rose Markus

Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States

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Publications (101)317.56 Total impact

  • Hazel Rose Markus
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    ABSTRACT: 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 as persistent productive performance is commonly understood to come from preferences and values inside the person. Yet in most contexts (those of the majority world), motivation takes form as being receptive to specific others, realizing expectations, and following culturally inscribed norms. Explaining the actions of people with a mismatched model of motivation can lead to inferences of irrationality, deficiency or immorality and is a barrier to intercultural communication.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2016
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    ABSTRACT: 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 in poaching, and of their possible reasons for switching jobs. Participants were engaged in three tasks as follows: in the first task, participants were randomly assigned to one of the four scenarios (in a 2 (Agency: Company vs. Employee) x 2 (Decision: Joining rival firm vs. Not joining rival firm) design); in the second task, participants were given a description of a company that either poaches or one that does not poach; and finally, in the third task, participants were asked about the reasons that would lead an employee to getting poached. The study's results indicated that participants perceived employees who get poached as less moral and more business-minded. They also perceived companies who engage in poaching as being competitive, and also perceived such companies more negatively than companies that did not poach. Improvements in salary, status, and social environment emerged as primary reasons for participants to consider switching jobs.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015
  • Tiffany N Brannon · Hazel Rose Markus · Valerie Jones Taylor
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    ABSTRACT: 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) U.S. educational settings can leverage an interdependent self-schema associated with African American culture through inclusive multicultural practices to facilitate positive academic consequences. First, a pilot experiment and Studies 1 and 2 provided evidence that double consciousness can be conceptualized as 2 self-schemas. That is, African Americans shifted their behavior (e.g., cooperation) in schema-relevant ways from more independent when primed with mainstream American culture to more interdependent when primed with African American culture. Then, Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated that incorporating African American culture within a university setting enhanced African Americans' persistence and performance on academic-relevant tasks. Finally, using the Gates Millennium Scholars dataset (Cohort 1), Study 5 conceptually replicated Studies 3 and 4 and provided support for one process that underlies the observed positive academic consequences. Specifically, Study 5 provided evidence that engagement with African American culture (e.g., involvement with cultural events/groups) on college campuses makes an interdependent self-schema more salient that increases African American students' sense of academic fit and identification, and, in turn, enhances academic performance (self-reported grades) and persistence (advanced degree enrollment in a long-term follow-up). The discussion examines double consciousness as a basic psychological phenomenon and suggests the intra- and intergroup benefits of inclusive multicultural settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Apr 2015
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    ABSTRACT: 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 multiple measures of BHR, including pro-inflammatory markers (interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein) and indices of cardiovascular malfunction (systolic blood pressure and ratio of total to HDL cholesterol). We found that the link between greater expression of anger and increased BHR was robust for Americans. As predicted, however, this association was diametrically reversed for Japanese, among whom greater expression of anger predicted reduced BHR. These patterns were unique to the expressive facet of anger and remained after we controlled for age, gender, health status, health behaviors, social status, and reported experience of negative emotions. Implications for sociocultural modulation of bio-physiological responses are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Psychological Science
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    ABSTRACT: 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, or changes to universities' ideas and practices, to increase working-class students' access to and performance in higher education. The current article identifies key factors that characterize successful interventions aimed at reducing social class disparities, and proposes additional interventions that have the potential to improve working-class students' chances of college success. As we propose in the article, effective interventions must first address key individual and structural factors that can create barriers to students' college success. At the same time, interventions should also fortify school-relevant selves, or increase students' sense that the pursuit of a college degree is central to “who I am.” When students experience this strong connection between their selves and what it means to attend and perform well in college, they will gain a sense that they fit in the academic environment and will be empowered to do what it takes to succeed there.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Social Issues and Policy Review
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    ABSTRACT: 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 normative ideas about how social status is understood and conferred. In probability samples of Japanese (N=1027) and U.S. (N=1805) adults, subjective social status more strongly predicted life satisfaction, positive affect, sense of purpose, and self acceptance in the U.S. than in Japan. In contrast, objective social status more strongly predicted life satisfaction, positive relations with others, and self acceptance in Japan than in the U.S. These differences reflect divergent cultural models of self. The emphasis on independence characteristic of the U.S. affords credence to one's own judgment (subjective status) and the interdependence characteristic of Japan to what others can observe (objective status).
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Social Psychological and Personality Science
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    Hila Riemer · Sharon Shavitt · Minkyung Koo · Hazel Rose Markus
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    ABSTRACT: 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 suggest that incorporating research insights from non-Western sociocultural contexts can significantly enhance attitude theorizing. To this end, we propose an additional model-a normative-contextual model of attitudes. The currently dominant person-centric model emphasizes the centrality of personal preferences, their stability and internal consistency, and their possible interaction with externally imposed norms. In contrast, the normative-contextual model emphasizes that attitudes are always context-contingent and incorporate the views of others and the norms of the situation. In this model, adjustment to norms does not involve an effortful struggle between the authentic self and exogenous forces. Rather, it is the ongoing and reassuring integration of others' views into one's attitudes. According to the normative-contextual model, likely to be a good fit in contexts that foster interdependence and holistic thinking, attitudes need not be personal or necessarily stable and internally consistent and are only functional to the extent that they help one to adjust automatically to different contexts. The fundamental shift in focus offered by the normative-contextual model generates novel hypotheses and highlights new measurement criteria for studying attitudes in non-Western sociocultural contexts. We discuss these theoretical and measurement implications as well as practical implications for health and well-being, habits and behavior change, and global marketing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Psychological Review
  • Alyssa S Fu · Hazel Rose Markus
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    ABSTRACT: "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 in AA contexts emphasize that the person is and should be interdependent with one's close others, especially one's mother. In contrast, EA contexts emphasize the person as independent, even from one's mother. We find that AA compared with EA high school students experience more interdependence with their mothers and pressure from them, but that the pressure does not strain their relationship with their mothers. Furthermore, following failure, AAs compared with EAs are more motivated by their mothers, and AAs are particularly motivated by pressure from their mothers when it conveys interdependence.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: 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 designed to promote well-being are infused with cultural norms and values. The take home message is that greater awareness is needed of how cultural contexts shape ideal formulations of human well-being as well as the strategies adopted to promote it.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2014
  • Nicole M Stephens · Hazel Rose Markus · L Taylor Phillips
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    ABSTRACT: 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, and acting. We integrate a growing body of interdisciplinary research to reveal how social class culture cycles operate over the course of the lifespan and through critical gateway contexts, including homes, schools, and workplaces. We first document how each of these contexts socializes social class cultural differences. Then, we demonstrate how these gateway institutions, which could provide access to upward social mobility, are structured according to middle-class ways of being a self and thus can fuel and perpetuate inequality. We conclude with a discussion of intervention opportunities that can reduce inequality by taking into account the contextual responsiveness of the self. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Psychology Volume 65 is January 03, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Annual Review of Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: 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 where negative emotions are seen as acceptable and normal. Using samples of 1044 American and 382 Japanese middle-aged and older adults, we investigated whether the relationship between negative emotions and IL-6 varies by cultural context. Negative emotions predicted higher IL-6 among American adults, whereas no association was evident among Japanese adults. Furthermore, the interaction between culture and negative emotions remained even after controlling for demographic variables, psychological factors (positive emotions, neuroticism, extraversion), health behaviors (smoking status, alcohol consumption), and health status (chronic conditions, BMI). These findings highlight the role of cultural context in shaping how negative emotions affect inflammatory physiology and underscore the importance of cultural ideas and practices relevant to negative emotions for understanding of the interplay between psychology, physiology, and health. (172 words).
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Brain Behavior and Immunity
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    ABSTRACT: 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 common explanations. Moreover, the degree to which survivors encountered extreme hardship—unpredictable, disruptive, and uncontrollable experiences—predicted explanations of the events as an act of God. These findings held even after controlling for demographic factors (educational attainment and race/ethnicity) known to be associated with religiosity. Notably, objective experiences (e.g., seeing dead bodies) were better predictors of religious meaning-making than relatively subjective psychological reactions to those experiences (e.g., fear). These studies extend the literature by examining how experiences of hardship in real-world contexts underlie religious meaning-making and suggest that religiosity emerges, in part, from variation in individual experience.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Tiffany N. Brannon · Hazel Rose Markus

    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Psychological Inquiry
  • Maryam G Hamedani · Hazel Rose Markus · Alyssa S Fu
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    ABSTRACT: 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 undermines motivation for chronically independent European Americans but not for bicultural Asian Americans who are both chronically independent and chronically interdependent. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that priming interdependent rather than independent action undermined European Americans' motivation to perform challenging mental and physical tasks. Study 3 showed that framing an appeal for environmental sustainability in terms of interdependent rather than independent action led to decreased motivation and resource allocation among European Americans. Motivation was not undermined for Asian Americans, which reveals how behavior is divergently shaped, in the land of the free, by foundational sociocultural schemas of independence and interdependence. This research has the novel implication that it may be necessary to invoke independent behaviors in order to successfully motivate interdependence.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Psychological Science
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    ABSTRACT: 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 psychological resources (sense of control, self-esteem, optimism, and neuroticism) on the association of social class [education and subjective social status (SSS)] with current health status (self-rated health and the number of chronic conditions). Method This sample consisted of 1,805 Americans (818 males and 987 females) from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) survey, 2004–2006 and 1,027 Japanese (505 males and 522 females) from the Midlife in Japan (MIDJA) survey in Tokyo, Japan, 2008–2010. Information on social class, psychological resources, and health status was obtained using telephone interviews or written questionnaires. Results A mediation analysis was conducted separately for males and females in Japan and the USA. Neuroticism significantly mediated the association of education and SSS with self-rated health and chronic conditions among males and females in both countries, with one exception (not for chronic conditions among Japanese females). Sense of control significantly mediated the association of education and SSS with self-rated health among males and females in both countries. As hypothesized, self-esteem significantly mediated almost all of the associations of education and SSS with self-rated health and chronic conditions among men and women in the USA, but very few such associations in Japan. Optimism significantly mediated most associations of social class and health status in both countries, but only among females. Conclusions Overall, the findings underscore important culture- and gender specificity in the ways in which psychosocial resources mediate the links between social class and health.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: 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 universities increasingly admit rst-generation students—students whose parents do not have four-year degrees. Once admitted, these students experience greater challenges adjusting to universities compared to continuing-generation students—students who have at least one parent with a four-year degree. This additional adversity is typically explained in terms of rst-generation students' relative lack of economic (e.g., money) or academic (e.g., preparation) resources. We propose that this adversity also stems from a cultural mismatch between the mostly middle-class, independent norms institutionalized in American uni-versities and the relatively interdependent norms that rst-generation students are socialized with in working-class contexts before college. As predicted, an experiment revealed that framing the university culture in terms of independent norms (cultural mismatch) led rst-generation students to show greater increases in cortisol and less positive/more negative emotions than continuing-generation students while giving a speech. However, reframing the university culture to include interdependent norms (cultural match) eliminated this gap.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
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    Nicole M Stephens · Hazel Rose Markus · Stephanie A Fryberg
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    ABSTRACT: 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 integration proposes that, in contrast to how the 2 models are typically represented, they are not opposed, but instead they are complementary sets of understandings that inform and extend each other. Further, we elaborate the theoretical rationale and predictions for a third model: the sociocultural self model of behavior. This model incorporates and extends key tenets of the individual and structural models. First, the sociocultural self model conceptualizes individual characteristics (e.g., skills) and structural conditions (e.g., access to resources) as interdependent forces that mutually constitute each other and that are best understood together. Second, the sociocultural self model recognizes that both individual characteristics and structural conditions indirectly influence behavior through the selves that emerge in the situation. These selves are malleable psychological states that are a product of the ongoing mutual constitution of individuals and structures and serve to guide people's behavior by systematically shaping how people construe situations. The theoretical foundation of the sociocultural self model lays the groundwork for a more complete understanding of behavior and provides new tools for developing interventions that will reduce social class disparities in health and education. The model predicts that intervention efforts will be more effective at producing sustained behavior change when (a) current selves are congruent, rather than incongruent, with the desired behavior and (b) individual characteristics and structural conditions provide ongoing support for the selves that are necessary to support the desired behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Psychological Review
  • Victoria C Plaut · Hazel Rose Markus · Jodi R Treadway · Alyssa S Fu
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    ABSTRACT: 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 capital firm websites, hospital websites; Studies 2-4), and studies assessing individuals' self and well-being (Studies 5-7), we compared Boston and San Francisco-similar cities on many metrics. We find that self and well-being are, in some important part, local. Reflecting themes of "old and established," Boston's history and cultural products emphasize tradition, status, and community, and social norms are relatively tight; accordingly feelings and selves are socially contingent. In contrast, reflecting themes of "new and free," San Francisco's history and cultural products emphasize unlimited possibility, egalitarianism, and innovation, and social norms are relatively loose; accordingly feelings and selves are relatively less contingent on others.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Publication Stats

10k Citations
317.56 Total Impact Points


  • 1998-2016
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Psychology
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 2004
    • Palo Alto University
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 1992
    • University of Oregon
      Eugene, Oregon, United States
  • 1970-1990
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Economics
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States