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Self-enhancement and self-protection strategies in China: cultural expressions of a fundamental human motive

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The motive to enhance and protect positive views of the self manifests in a variety of cognitive and behavioral strategies but its universality versus cultural specificity is debated by scholars. We sought to inform this debate by soliciting self-reports of the four principal types of self-enhancement and self-protection strategy (positivity embracement, favorable construals, self-affirming reflections, defensiveness) from a Chinese sample and comparing their structure, levels, and correlates to a Western sample. The Chinese data fit the same factor structure, and were subject to the same individual differences in regulatory focus, self-esteem, and narcissism, as the Western data. Chinese participants reported lower levels of (enhancement-oriented) positivity embracement but higher levels of (protection-oriented) defensiveness than Western participants. Levels of favorable construals were also higher in the Chinese sample, with no differences in self-affirming reflections. These findings support and extend the universalist perspective on the self by demonstrating the cross-cultural structure, yet culturally sensitive manifestation, of self-enhancement motivation

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Hepper, Erica G., Sedikides, Constantine and Cai, Huajian (2011) Self-enhancement and self-protection strategies in China: cultural expressions of a fundamental human motive Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 October 2011
Published date: 16 December 2011
Additional Information: Currently in 'OnlineFirst' section of journal


Local EPrints ID: 198575
ISSN: 0022-0221
PURE UUID: c09e254d-9c49-483c-8f45-adcd29f55e8b

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Date deposited: 05 Oct 2011 10:06
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:18

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Author: Erica G. Hepper
Author: Huajian Cai

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