The "Me" I Claim to Be: Cultural Self-Construal Elicits Self-Presentational Goal Pursuit

Ashok K. Lalwani, Sharon Shavitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 12 studies, respondents with an independent (vs. interdependent) self-construal showed an increased tendency and readiness to present themselves as skillful and capable and a decreased tendency and readiness to present themselves as socially sensitive and appropriate. This emerged in the form of differential scores on direct measures of self-presentation-self-deceptive enhancement and impression management (Study 1), differential social sensitivity in a gift-giving scenario (Study 2), differential performance on questions assessing general knowledge (Studies 5-6) and etiquette (Studies 7-8), and different choices between tests purportedly measuring one's self-reliance versus social-appropriateness (Studies 9A and 9D). These relationships were observed when participants focused on their own self-presentational concerns but disappeared when participants focused on others' outcomes (Study 3) or when they had a prior opportunity to satisfy their goals via self-affirmation (Studies 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9B, 9D). Finally, self-construal effects were eliminated or reversed when participants were led to doubt their ability to achieve their self-presentational goals (Study 9C).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume97
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • independent prime
  • interdependent prime
  • self-affirmation
  • self-construal
  • self-presentational goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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