Tactical self-enhancement in China: is modesty at the service of self-enhancement in East-Asian culture

Cai, Huajian, Sedikides, Constantine, Gaertner, Lowell, Wang, Chenjun, Carvallo, Mauricio, Xu, Yiyuan, O’Mara, Erin M. and Jackson, Lydia Eckstein (2010) Tactical self-enhancement in China: is modesty at the service of self-enhancement in East-Asian culture. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, (1), 59-64. (doi:10.1177/1948550610376599).


[img] PDF - Version of Record
Restricted to System admin

Download (168Kb) | Request a copy


Is self-enhancement culturally universal or relativistic? This article highlights a nuanced dynamic in East Asian culture. Modesty is a prevailing norm in China. The authors hypothesized that because of socialization practices and prohibitive cultural pressures, modesty would be associated with and lead to low explicit self-enhancement but high implicit self-enhancement, that Chinese participants would deemphasize explicitly the positivity of the self when high on modesty or situationally prompted to behave modestly but would capitalize on their modest disposition or situationally induced behavior to emphasize implicitly the positivity of the self. In support of the hypotheses, dispositionally or situationally modest Chinese participants manifested low explicit self-esteem while manifesting high implicit self-esteem. Modesty among American participants constrained explicit self-esteem but yielded no associations with implicit self-esteem. The results showcase the tactical nature of self-enhancement in Chinese culture and call for research on when and how self-enhancement is pursued tactically in different cultures.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/1948550610376599
ISSNs: 1948-5506 (print)
1948-5514 (electronic)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Human Wellbeing
ePrint ID: 170335
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
12 August 2010Published
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2011 10:27
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:31
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/170335

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics