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Disowning the self: The cultural value of modesty can attenuate self-positivity

Record type: Article

Western participants endorse a higher number of positive traits as self-descriptive, but endorse a lower number of negative traits as self-descriptive. They also respond quicker to categorize positive traits as self-descriptive, but respond slower to categorize negative traits as self-descriptive. Is this self-positivity bias qualified by the cultural value of modesty? We induced modesty (vs. punctuality) and assessed self-descriptiveness judgments and response times among Chinese participants. We replicated the self-positivity bias in regards to both self-descriptiveness judgments and response times. In the case of self-descriptiveness judgments, however, the bias was partially qualified by modesty. Relative to control participants, those in the modesty condition endorsed fewer positive traits as self-descriptive and manifested a tendency toward endorsing more negative traits as self-descriptive. In the case of response times, the self-positivity bias was unqualified by modesty. Within both conditions, participants were quicker to categorize positive traits as self-descriptive and were slower to categorize negative traits as self-descriptive. The results speak to the relation between the self-positivity bias and the self-reference effect and illustrate the malleability of self-processing.

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Citation

Shi, Yuanyuan, Sedikides, Constantine, Cai, Huajian, Liu, Yunzhi and Yang, Ziyan (2015) Disowning the self: The cultural value of modesty can attenuate self-positivity The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: Section B, pp. 1023-1032. (doi:10.1080/17470218.2015.1099711). (PMID:26444132).

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 21 September 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 October 2015
Keywords: modesty, self-positivity, self-reference effect, self-processing, culture, chinese culture
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383671
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383671
PURE UUID: 246b76e2-5b10-4225-8b1f-f382f11be3c5

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Nov 2015 09:56
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:29

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Contributors

Author: Yuanyuan Shi
Author: Huajian Cai
Author: Yunzhi Liu
Author: Ziyan Yang

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