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First signs of personality
o Easy, difficult, slow to warm up
o Thomas and chess (1988) think that it is not the temperament per
se but the fit between temperament and the environment that is
critical for future maladjustment.

Argues that there are distinct ‘ethnic’ differences in
temperament that result from unique survival challenges
that humans faced during our evolutionary history.
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Asian, European, African

European: long cold winters in closely knit social groups
requiring cooperation and impulse control.
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William James (1890) postulated that we are multifaceted,
that is we have multiple social selves.

We have multiple social selves due to the fact that we occupy
multiple roles in life.
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Role – set of behavioral expectations for a person who
performs a particular social function.
William James’ Model of the Self
Me
I
Self as Knower
Self as Known
Stream of
consciousness
Object of
Reflection
Material
Self
Possessions
Physical being
Social
Self
Impressions we
make on others;
Spiritual
Self
Inner experiences
Social perceptions
Recognition we
Traits & attitudes
receive from them
How Do You Know What You Are Like?

Cooley (1902) suggested that others have an
important influence on our self-conceptions.

He proposed that we learn about ourselves through
perceptions of how it appears in the eyes of others.

He called this the Looking Glass Self.
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


Take a moment and fill it out.
Easy?
What kind of words do you use?
Not as much in content as in structure

I am creative
o (enduring trait across situations, inner attribute about self, relatively
abstract, can exist by itself {don’t need others around}

I am a brother
o (relational, not always enduring, present, hierarchical, need others
around)


Americans use psychological attributes more
Japanese use larger context more, preferences, wishes,
social categories and activities.
Americans use microsystem, Japanese use exo and even macro

8-12 year old American and Hindi kids

Did not differ in significant way

Used more context than personal attributes.
Social Identity Theory




Tajfel (1981) notes that the social part of our identity
derives from the groups to which we belong.
We tend to favorably compare the attributes of our own
group with those of out-groups.
This gives us a positive sense of who we are, and leads
to preferential treatment toward in-group members.
BIRGing (Basking In Reflected Glory)
Culture and the Self
Independent View
of Self
Interdependent View
of Self
Father
Mother
Mother
Friend
SELF
Friend
Sibling
Coworker
Friend
Father
SELF
Friend
Sibling
Coworker
Independent View of the Self

Perception of oneself as an independent agent is a major
emphasis in the life of Western industrialized nations

Values such as freedom & self-determination are very
important

They describe themselves as possessing traits and
abilities, such as honest, cautious, friendly, modest,
intelligent

They make a sharp distinction between self and others,
between the individual and the group.
Interdependent View of the Self

Regards the preservation of harmonious relations with
other key people in his or her life as the primary goal

Consequently, they will often not maintain a consistent
core of actions to people in general across all
situations—but rather behave in different ways at
different times in order to accommodate others

They describe themselves more in terms of their group
affiliations, and in terms of context-specific trait
characterizations

There is less of a distinct separation between self and
others, between the individual and the group
Another Cultural Dimension:
Individualism - Collectivism

In the U.S. (in fact, in most of North America and
Europe), children are taught to be independent, selfreliant, assertive, to strive to be “a cut above the rest.”

Consider the American proverb
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

The value is placed on Individualism.
Another Cultural Dimension:
Individualism - Collectivism

In Japan (in fact, in most of Asia, Africa, and Latin
America), children are taught to fit into their
community, do what is best for their group, don’t draw
attention to one’s own accomplishments.

Consider the Japanese proverb
“The nail that stands out gets pounded down.”

The value is placed on Collectivism.
Characteristics of Individualism

Individualists often give priority to their personal goals,
even when they conflict with the goals of important ingroups, such as family, tribe, work group, countrymen.

Individualists are somewhat emotionally detached from
their in-groups and emphasize self-reliance,
independence, and the individual’s pursuit of happiness.

Individualists are not as willing to self-sacrifice for an
in-group.
Antecedents of Individualism

More wealth – financial independence leads to social
independence.

The more education, the more urban, the more social
mobility, the more individualistic the culture is likely to
be.

Another way of looking at it is that the more complex
the culture is, the more individualistic it is likely to be,
because complex cultures give a person the choice of
becoming members of various groups.

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1. personal names
2. birth order names
3. kinship names
4. tekonyms: relationship between 2 people, usually older
and younger family
5. status titles or caste names
6. public titles, occupational titles (Dr. Brown)
(after child is born, ‘mother-of, or father-of) these become
personal names.


Nonverbal Expressions of Emotion
Emotional perception across cultures
o Universal emotions
• Paul Ekman—7 separate emotions (by expression)
• Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, & contempt
• You identified these in the slide previously
o Cultures share facial language for basic emotion…but differ in how
much emotion they express
• How?
• Izard (1997)
• Isolated 10
emotions
• 7 present in
infancy
• 3 not (contempt,
shame, and guilt)
• All other
emotions are a
combination of
these 10
Self Esteem

Defined as one’s overall self-evaluation or sense of selfworth


It affects how people approach their daily lives
If you feel good about yourself, you tend to: be
healthy, successful, productive, happy, persist longer at
tasks, sleep better, more accepting of others, less likely
to conform.
Self Esteem & Self-Discrepancy Theory

Self-discrepancy theory – the level of self-esteem is
determined by the magnitude of the discrepancy
between your actual self and two self guides: the ought
self and the ideal self.

Ought self – refers to characteristics that enable you to
meet your sense of obligation, responsibility

Ideal self – embodies your hopes, wishes, dreams of
what you’d like to be.
Self Esteem & Self-Discrepancy Theory

Actual self – Ought self discrepancy can lead to
shame, fear, guilt, anxiety.

these are socially-engaged emotions —help us to
assimilate the self in social relationships

Actual self – Ideal self discrepancy can lead to anger,
frustration, disappointment, sadness.

These are socially-disengaged emotions – tend to
separate and disengage the self from social
relationships.
Self Esteem & Self-Discrepancy Theory
And Culture

For individualists, self-esteem depends on carrying out
the cultural valued tasks of gaining independence, being
self-sufficient, identifying, pursuing & achieving one’s
personally defined goals

In short, the actual-ideal discrepancy matters more to
individualists.

For collectivists, self-esteem depends on the degree to
which one “fits in,” lives up to one’s social obligations,
duties, and responsibilities to others.

In short, the actual-ought discrepancy matters more to
collectivists.

Kanagawa, Cross & Markus (2001)
Four conditions (Twenty statement test)
Japanese and American participant

Ratio of positive to negative responses



American students consistent across conditions

Japanese rated self much higher in solitary condition

Which is the true self? With others or alone?

Challenges a methodological assumption that context of
measuring personality didn’t matter

Subjective: consider ourselves from the perspective of the
subject. Concerns are external, outside self. More positive

Objective: consider ourselves as the object, how we appear
to others. Conscious of being evaluated and compared to
others. More negative

What are your hypotheses?

Memory and first person vs. third person

Asian Canadians habitually consider the perspective of the
other. (third person)

Asians more often in objective self awareness

Heine et al. (2007) tested this with a mirror test.

Evaluate yourself on actual-ideal discrepancy in from of a
mirror or not. (larger discrepancy indicates being more critical)

Gordon Allport came up with 18,000 personality traits
words in the English language.

Thought that any language should represent our core
personality

Openness to experience
Conscientiousness
Extraversion
Agreeableness
Neuroticism

Costa & McCrae (1992) 50 culture study

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Spanish: most neurotic
Hong Kong Chinese: Least extroverted
Austrians: most open
Malaysians: most agreeable
Japan: Least conscientious

Needs to come from cultural or indigenous psychology

Chueng et al. (1996)
Looked at Chinese novels, proverbs, descriptions, and
dictionary


26 unique personality constructs

(somatization, face, harmony, modernization,)

4 factors emerged
o 1. Dependability
o 2. Interpersonal Relatedness
o 3. Social Potency
o 4. Individualism

Significant overlap with Big Five

But Openness didn’t correlate with any.

Phillipines: two additional constructs
o 1. Temprementalness
o 2. Negative Valence
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What Is Culture?