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Self-enhancement and self-protection strategies in China: Cultural expressions of a fundamental human motive

Hepper, E, Sedikides, C and Cai, H (2013) Self-enhancement and self-protection strategies in China: Cultural expressions of a fundamental human motive Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44 (1). pp. 5-23.

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The motive to enhance and protect positive views of the self manifests in a variety of cognitive and behavioral strategies but its universality versus cultural specificity is debated by scholars. We sought to inform this debate by soliciting self-reports of the four principal types of self-enhancement and self-protection strategy (positivity embracement, favorable construals, self-affirming reflections, defensiveness) from a Chinese sample and comparing their structure, levels, and correlates to a Western sample. The Chinese data fit the same factor structure, and were subject to the same individual differences in regulatory focus, self-esteem, and narcissism, as the Western data. Chinese participants reported lower levels of (enhancement-oriented) positivity embracement but higher levels of (protection-oriented) defensiveness than Western participants. Levels of favorable construals were also higher in the Chinese sample, with no differences in self-affirming reflections. These findings support and extend the universalist perspective on the self by demonstrating the cross-cultural structure, yet culturally sensitive manifestation, of self-enhancement motivation.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Hepper, E
Sedikides, C
Cai, H
Date : January 2013
DOI : 10.1177/0022022111428515
Uncontrolled Keywords : self-enhancement, self-protection, culture, self-esteem, narcissism
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Publicshed in Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44 (1), 5-23, 2013. Copyright 2013 Sage Publications. Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 07 Jun 2013 15:00
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:06

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