Self as seen by Cross-Cultural Psychology

Hofstede (1983) surveyed 117,000 IBM employees across 40 countries on their interests and opinions, developing a model of values and cognitive styles, including power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism and collectivism F6.7.

Triandis (1989) Self as seen from an information processing perspective, able to 'sample' information about themselves across certain universal dimensions.
-Variance across cultures in sampling; public, private and collective information

private - traits, states, behaviours or the person
public -'generalized other' view of the self "what 'they' think"
collective - cognitions concerning the self as part of collective "we"

-Suggests that the "growth of affluence" in a society is a causal mechanism that determined which type of self information will be prevalent in reports.
-Less complex societies are more collectivist and
more complex societies are more individualist

 -Individualist societies tend to sample more from private self information

-Collectivist societies tend to sample from public information and they also
-display a greater disparity in treatment of ingroup vs. outgroup members
-have greater 'social tightness' - having clear and reliably enforced norms

 Markus and Kitayama (1991) Cultural Self Schematta
- Cognitive templates that organize our cognitive, affective, and motivational elements of who we are, and are caused by having lived in particular cultures.

-Primary features of these are interdependent self and independent self.
-most general and over arching of an individual's self system.
(note computer metaphor)

 Interdependent self involves: seeing oneself as part of a social group
-tend to have more complete integration of contextual and personal
-tend to feel other -focused 'social emotions' e.g, guilt, pride, shame 

 Independent self involves: bounded, unique motivational and cognitive
centre of awareness who make more self-references and feel ego-focused emotions e.g., joy sadness, anger, fear, ....  

Much of this research considers self as a cognitive structure.

George Kelly (1955?) identified a model of attribution that pertains to our thoughts about our selves and others

Self-Serving Bias occurs when one explains one's own failures to the situation and successes to one's own personal characteristics.

-Both tend to be more prevalent in 'western' countries

Fundamental Attribution Error   occurs when one tends to overestimate the dispositional factors and underestimate the situational factors when explaining someone else's behaviour.

Across cultures - Americans make more personal attributions while Indians make more situational attributions.

Heine (2012) - examines these and other cross-cultural comparisons regarding self. For example, differences in attributions of success among Olympic athletes: American Misty Hyman (swimming) and Japanese Naoko Takahashi (marathon). The American says "I stayed focused" "this was my night", the Japanese says "Here is the best coach in the world, the best manager in the world, and all the best people who support me"

He also cites studies on Who Am I?   examining the content of who we think we are, including the types of things we identify with. We may report (TST) enduring personal attributes or traits, our connection with others (roles & relationships).

For example, a study using the (TST) with university students in Nairobi Kenya (British influence) and  those in more traditional Kenyan communities (Samburu and Masai) with students from the United States (Ma & Scheneman, 1997)(Figure 6.3).

Heine also supports the notion of independent and interdependent selves as seen in the diagrams F6.4 & F6.5. He also cites variation in brain activity correlated with thinking about attributes of self or mother across cultures. Here the "Western" subjects activated distinct areas for self and mother, while the "Chinese" subject had brain activity in the same area for both (medial prefrontal cortex). This suggest distinct experiences of self-concept across these cultures.

Heine also reports differences across the United States: High-Hawaii, Utah, "Confederate South" and low-"Mountain West", "the Great Plains" and the "Midwest"

Likewise Kitayama & Bowman (2010) shows that Hokkaido Japan is more individualistic than mainland Japan. They ascribe these differences to the voluntary settlement hypothesis where the "frontier" is populated by independent people who often settle in a harsh ecology.

Self consistency differences between American and Japanese is also examined by Heine who shows that Americans report a higher proportion of positive to negative self statements than do Japanese, and that depending on the situation (context) the Japanese students show a greater variation (T6.2) .

Heine also reports studies on cognitive dissonance where Canadian students are more likely to rationalize or justify their like of a CD after it has been given to them in contrast to their baseline opinions than are Japanese students (Heine & Lehman, 1997).

Elsewhere, Reykowski (1994) has shown that Polish students are more likely to comply with a request that their peers had agreed with than those from the USA who were more likely to comply with a request that they had previously agreed to (F6.9).

Suh (2002) examined self consistency between Koreans and Americans across situations, reporting that Koreans report less consistency (T6.3)

Self Awareness also has been examined, showing differences in self-evaluation alone or when another one knows, Showing that Hong Kong students, (F6.10) reported much lower self-rating when they believed someone else knew their scores in contrast to the American Students (Kim, Cohen & Au, 2010).

Also that Heine, et al. (2008) reported that America students demonstrated a higher actual-ideal self-discrepancy when  a mirror was present than not in contrast to Japanese students who varied less (F6.11).

Heine also reviews research on Gender and Culture such as Kalin & Tilby's (1978) Sex Role Ideology survey. T6.1 Showing variation across cultures for "egalitarian gender attitudes" where lower scores indicate more traditional gender roles.