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

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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.

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Cai, H., Sedikides, C. and Jiang, L. (2013) 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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e-pub ahead of print date: 20 December 2012
Published date: September 2013
Keywords: self-affirmation, individual self, relational self, familial self, culture
Organisations: Psychology


Local EPrints ID: 356072
ISSN: 1948-5506
PURE UUID: 6fd142fc-35b0-4f08-9b1a-c3f4b98ef21f

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Date deposited: 22 Aug 2013 15:46
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:41

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Author: H. Cai
Author: C. Sedikides
Author: L. Jiang

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