The Jury and Abjury of My Peers: The Self in Face and Dignity Cultures

Young Hoon Kim, Dov Cohen, Wing Tung Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The self is defined and judged differently by people from face and dignity cultures (in this case, Hong Kong and the United States, respectively). Across 3 experiments, people from a face culture absorbed the judgments of other people into their private self-definitions. Particularly important for people from a face culture are public representations-knowledge that is shared and known to be shared about someone. In contrast, people from a dignity culture try to preserve the sovereign self by not letting others define them. In the 3 experiments, dignity culture participants showed a studied indifference to the judgments of their peers, ignoring peers' assessments-whether those assessments were public or private, were positive or negative, or were made by qualified peers or unqualified peers. Ways that the self is " knotted" up with social judgments and cultural imperatives are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-916
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Culture
  • Dignity
  • Face
  • Perspective-taking
  • Self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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