Title

Unpacking East-West differences in the extent of self-enhancement from the perspective of face vs. dignity cultures

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-2014

Abstract

The question of whether or not the need for self-enhancement is culturally universal has been a controversial issue in cultural psychology. Though there have been numerous studies arguing that East Asians also have the need for self-enhancement, the controversy remained. We contend that the field is ready to see a cohesive theory that integrates and explains when and why East Asians do and do not manifest their need for self-enhancement. In this paper, we provide the theoretical logics of and rationales behind face and dignity cultures as the new theoretical proxies that integrate and explain East Asians' self-enhancing behaviors, supplementing the former approach that uses the individualism-collectivism dichotomy. In particular, four representative properties of face culture — humility, public (versus private) concern, prevention regulatory focus, and harmony — are discussed to explain cross-cultural differences in the extent and ways of manifestations of self-enhancement motivation between European Americans and East Asians. Theoretical corroborations and empirical findings supporting this approach are also discussed.

Discipline

Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Social and Personality Psychology Compass

Volume

8

Issue

7

First Page

314

Last Page

327

ISSN

1751-9004

Identifier

10.1111/spc3.12112

Publisher

Wiley

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12112

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