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Wanting to be great and better but not average: on the pancultural desire for self-enhancing and self-improving feedback

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What is the nature of self-evaluation motives? The relativist perspective suggests that self-evaluation motives vary culturally, with self-enhancement developing in Western culture and self-effacement and self-improvement developing in East Asian culture. The universalist perspective suggests that self-enhancement and self-improvement are basic human motives that coexist in the self-system and are prevalent across cultures. We tested the competing perspectives in a cross-cultural study. Chinese and American students rated the degree to which they want to receive four types of feedback (self-enhancing, self-effacing, self-improving, and no-feedback) from four sources (parents, teachers, friends, and classmates). Chinese and Americans (a) overwhelmingly wanted self-enhancing and self-improving feedback more than self-effacing feedback and no-feedback and (b) were uninterested in self-effacing feedback. These findings attest to the universal nature of self-enhancement and self-improvement motives

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Gaertner, Lowell, Sedikides, Constantine and Cai, Huajian (2012) Wanting to be great and better but not average: on the pancultural desire for self-enhancing and self-improving feedback Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43, (4), pp. 521-526. (doi:10.1177/0022022112438399).

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e-pub ahead of print date: 17 April 2012
Published date: May 2012
Keywords: self, self-evaluation, self-enhancement


Local EPrints ID: 338802
ISSN: 0022-0221
PURE UUID: 745770c7-046b-4d53-bfc1-7222217e6020

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Date deposited: 21 May 2012 11:22
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:57

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Author: Lowell Gaertner
Author: Huajian Cai

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