The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

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), pp. 59-64.

Record type: Article


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.

PDF Tactical_self-enhancement_in_China.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (172kB)

More information

Published date: 12 August 2010


Local EPrints ID: 170335
ISSN: 1948-5506
PURE UUID: c8b4e651-f944-41ed-a760-85a39dd9f268

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jan 2011 10:27
Last modified: 30 Aug 2017 20:05

Export record


Author: Huajian Cai
Author: Lowell Gaertner
Author: Chenjun Wang
Author: Mauricio Carvallo
Author: Yiyuan Xu
Author: Erin M. O’Mara
Author: Lydia Eckstein Jackson

University divisions

Download statistics

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

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.