Research suggests that collectivists are more likely to engage in deception and socially desirable responding to maintain good relationships with others. In contrast, individualists are portrayed as candid and sincere because individualism encourages people to "be yourself." The authors propose that people with both types of cultural orientations or backgrounds engage in desirable responding, albeit in distinct ways. In Study 1, respondents from the United States compared with those from Singapore, and European Americans compared with Asian Americans, scored higher on self-deceptive enhancement (SDE)-the tendency to see oneself in a positive light and to give inflated assessment of one's skills and abilities but lower on impression management (IM) by misrepresenting their self-reported actions to appear more normatively appropriate. In Studies 2 to 4, horizontal individualism as a cultural orientation correlated with SDE but not with IM, whereas horizontal collectivism correlated with IM but not with SDE. Further analyses examining (a) individual differences in the tendency to answer deceptively and (b) responses to behavioral scenarios shed additional light on the culturally relevant goals served by these distinct types of socially desirable responding.
- Cultural orientation
- Socially desirable responding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science