Familial self as a potent source of affirmation: evidence from China

Cai, H., Sedikides, C. and Jiang, L. (2012) Familial self as a potent source of affirmation: evidence from China Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, (5), pp. 529-537. (doi:10.1177/1948550612469039).


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Does affirmation of familial self have a distinct buffering function compared to affirmation of close other (friend, partner) self or individual self? We addressed this question in an East-Asian culture (China) that places particularly high value on familial self. Familial self-affirmation (compared to other forms of self-affirmation as well as low affirmation) curtailed the mortality salience–induced intolerance to birth-control policy (Experiment 1), reduced female participants’ performance detriments—due to stereotype threat—on mental rotation (Experiment 2), and diminished the disadvantageous influence of negative feedback on further interest in information about one’s weaknesses (Experiment 3). Close other self-affirmation, devoid of family context, was no more potent than individual self-affirmation or low affirmation. The findings underscore the utility of distinguishing among different sources of self-affirmation, highlight the relevance of familial self-affirmation to self-affirmation theory, and call for research testing the germaneness of familial self (and, more generally, the construct of family) in other Eastern, as well as Western, cultures.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/1948550612469039
ISSNs: 1948-5506 (print)
Keywords: self-affirmation, individual self, relational self, familial self, culture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Organisations: Psychology
ePrint ID: 356072
Date :
Date Event
20 December 2012e-pub ahead of print
September 2013Published
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 15:46
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:02
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/356072

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