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Agency-communion and self-esteem relations are moderated by culture, religiosity, age, and sex: evidence for the “self-centrality breeds self-enhancement” principle

Agency-communion and self-esteem relations are moderated by culture, religiosity, age, and sex: evidence for the “self-centrality breeds self-enhancement” principle
Agency-communion and self-esteem relations are moderated by culture, religiosity, age, and sex: evidence for the “self-centrality breeds self-enhancement” principle
OBJECTIVE: Who has high self-esteem? Is it ambitious, competitive, outgoing people-agentic personalities? Or is it caring, honest, understanding people-communal personalities? The literature on agency-communion and self-esteem is sparse, indirect, and inconsistent. Based on William James's theorizing, we propose the "self-centrality breeds self-enhancement" principle. Accordingly, agency will be linked to self-esteem, if agency is self-central. Conversely, communion will be linked to self-esteem, if communion is self-central. But what determines the self-centrality of agency and communion? The literature suggests that agency is self-central in agentic cultures, as well as among nonreligious individuals, men, and younger adults. Communion is self-central in communal cultures, as well as among religious individuals, women, and older adults.

METHOD: This study examined 187,957 people (47% female; mean age?=?37.49 years, SD?=?12.22) from 11 cultures. The large sample size afforded us the opportunity to test simultaneously the effect of all four moderators in a single two-level model (participants nested in cultures).

RESULTS: Results supported the unique moderating effect of culture, religiosity, age, and sex on the relation between agency-communion and self-esteem.

CONCLUSIONS: Agentic and communal people can both have high self-esteem, depending on self-centrality of agency and communion.
self-esteem, agency, communion, self-centrality, culture
0022-3506
261-275
Gebauer, Jochen E.
640d0e31-73ed-42c9-bc70-a1784ee816f9
Wagner, Jenny
fe07f962-566e-4e4b-9421-3b2b30764308
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Neberich, Wiebke
7320b33b-4655-4ca1-b07e-d255dc3af39c
Gebauer, Jochen E.
640d0e31-73ed-42c9-bc70-a1784ee816f9
Wagner, Jenny
fe07f962-566e-4e4b-9421-3b2b30764308
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Neberich, Wiebke
7320b33b-4655-4ca1-b07e-d255dc3af39c

Gebauer, Jochen E., Wagner, Jenny, Sedikides, Constantine and Neberich, Wiebke (2013) Agency-communion and self-esteem relations are moderated by culture, religiosity, age, and sex: evidence for the “self-centrality breeds self-enhancement” principle Journal of Personality, 81, (3), pp. 261-275. (PMID:22812669).

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Who has high self-esteem? Is it ambitious, competitive, outgoing people-agentic personalities? Or is it caring, honest, understanding people-communal personalities? The literature on agency-communion and self-esteem is sparse, indirect, and inconsistent. Based on William James's theorizing, we propose the "self-centrality breeds self-enhancement" principle. Accordingly, agency will be linked to self-esteem, if agency is self-central. Conversely, communion will be linked to self-esteem, if communion is self-central. But what determines the self-centrality of agency and communion? The literature suggests that agency is self-central in agentic cultures, as well as among nonreligious individuals, men, and younger adults. Communion is self-central in communal cultures, as well as among religious individuals, women, and older adults.

METHOD: This study examined 187,957 people (47% female; mean age?=?37.49 years, SD?=?12.22) from 11 cultures. The large sample size afforded us the opportunity to test simultaneously the effect of all four moderators in a single two-level model (participants nested in cultures).

RESULTS: Results supported the unique moderating effect of culture, religiosity, age, and sex on the relation between agency-communion and self-esteem.

CONCLUSIONS: Agentic and communal people can both have high self-esteem, depending on self-centrality of agency and communion.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 20 February 2013
Published date: June 2013
Keywords: self-esteem, agency, communion, self-centrality, culture
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 352985
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/352985
ISSN: 0022-3506
PURE UUID: 53c46f78-3aca-4fb7-af15-3fc981349bab

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Date deposited: 22 May 2013 13:41
Last modified: 30 Aug 2017 10:38

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Contributors

Author: Jochen E. Gebauer
Author: Jenny Wagner
Author: Wiebke Neberich

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