A Longitudinal Experimental Test of the Panculturality of Self-Enhancement: Self-Enhancement Promotes Psychological Well-Being Both in the West and the East
Journal of Research in Personality
Intensely debated is whether the self-enhancement motive is culturally relative or universal. The universalist perspective predicts that satisfaction of the motive panculturally promotes psychological well-being. The relativistic perspective predicts that such promotive effects are restricted to Western culture. A longitudinal-randomized-experiment conducted in China and the US tested the competing predictions. Participants completed measures of psychological well-being in an initial session. A week later participants listed a personally important attribute, described (via random assignment) how that attribute is more (self-enhancement) or less (self-effacement) descriptive of self than others, and again reported their psychological well-being. Consistent with the universalist perspective, self-enhancement significantly increased psychological well-being from baseline in the US and China; self-effacement yielded no change in psychological well-being in either culture.
Self-enhancement, Self-effacement, Psychological well-being, Culture, Self
O'Mara, Erin M.; Gaertner, Lowell; Sedikides, Constantine; Zhou, Xinyue; and Liu, Yanping, "A Longitudinal Experimental Test of the Panculturality of Self-Enhancement: Self-Enhancement Promotes Psychological Well-Being Both in the West and the East" (2012). Psychology Faculty Publications. 43.