07-20_Triandis+_1989_+The+self+and+social+behavior+in+different+cultural+contexts

07-20_Triandis+_1989_+The+self+and+social+behavior+in+different+cultural+contexts

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Psychological Review 1989, Vol. 96, No. 3, 506-520 Copyright 1989 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0033-295X/89/$00.75 The Self and Social Behavior in Differing Cultural Contexts Harry C. Triandis University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Three aspects of the self (private, public, collective) with different probabilities in different kinds of social environments were sampled. Three dimensions of cultural variation (individualism-collectiv- ism, tightness-looseness, cultural complexity) are discussed in relation to the sampling of these three aspects of the self. The more complex the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the public and private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self. The more individualistic the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self. Collectivism, external threat, competition with outgroups, and common fate increase the sampling of the collective self. Cultural homogeneity results in tightness and in the sampling of the collective self. The article outlines theoretical links among aspects of the environment, child- rearing patterns, and cultural patterns, which are linked to differential sampling of aspects of the self. Such sampling has implications for social behavior. Empirical investigations of some of these links are reviewed. The study of the self has a long tradition in psychology (e.g., Allport, 1943, 1955; Baumeister, 1987; Gordon & Gergen, 1968; James, 1890/1950; Murphy, 1947; Schlenker, 1985; Smith, 1980; Ziller, 1973), anthropology (e.g., Shweder & Le- Vine, 1984), and sociology (e.g., Cooley, 1902; Mead, 1934; Ro- senberg, 1979). There is a recognition in most of these discus- sions that the self is shaped, in part, through interaction with groups. However, although there is evidence about variations of the self across cultures (Marsella, DeVos, & Hsu, 1985; Shweder & Levine, 1984), the specification of the way the self determines aspects of social behavior in different cultures is undeveloped. This article will examine first, aspects of the self; second, di- mensions of variation of cultural contexts that have direct rele- vance to the way the self is defined; and third, the link between culture and self. Definitions The Self For purposes of this article, the self consists of all statements made by a person, overtly or covertly, that include the words "I," "me," "mine," and "myself" (Cooley, 1902). This broad definition indicates that all aspects of social motivation are linked to the self. Attitudes (e.g., / like X), beliefs (e.g., / think that X results in Y), intentions (e.g., / plan to do X), norms (e.g., in my group, people should act this way), roles (e.g., in my family, fathers act this way), and values (e.g., /think equality is very important) are aspects of the self. The statements that people make, that constitute the self, C. Harry Hui and J. B. P. Sinha made important suggestions that helped in the development of the theoretical argument presented here.
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