A Motivational Hierarchy Within: Primacy of the Individual Self, Relational Self, or Collective Self?
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
The individual self, relational self, and collective self are important and meaningful aspects of identity. However, they plausibly differ in their relative importance such that one self lies closer to the motivational core of the self-concept, better represent the “home base” of selfhood, or, simply stated, is motivationally primary. Four multi-method studies tested the relative motivational-primacy of the selves. Despite their disparate methods, the studies yielded consistent evidence of a three-tiered hierarchy with the individual self at the top, followed by the relational self, and trailed at the bottom by the collective self. The same hierarchy emerged in the Eastern culture of China and the Western cultures of the US and UK. Such pancultural consistency suggests that the motivational hierarchy is a fundamental pattern of the human self.
self, motivation, culture
Gaertner, Lowell; Sedikides, Constantine; Luke, Michelle A.; O'Mara, Erin M.; Iuzzini, Jonatham; Jackson, Lydia Eckstein; Cai, Huajian; and Wu, Quiping, "A Motivational Hierarchy Within: Primacy of the Individual Self, Relational Self, or Collective Self?" (2012). Psychology Faculty Publications. 42.