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

Asian Studies | Multicultural Psychology | 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

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

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

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