A Cultural Examination Of Self-Complexity

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This article examines self-complexity in cultural samples known to differ in individualism and collectivism. Individualism and collectivism are linked, respectively, to independent and interdependent patterns of self-construal. These patterns of self-construal may promote corresponding cultural differences in self-complexity. However, this possibility is contingent on self-complexity arising from the same interpersonal processes that contribute to self-construal. If, instead, self-complexity arises from intrapersonal processes like cognition and memory, then it is possible self-complexity may not vary across cultures. In Study 1, we compared a sample of Chinese-born students studying in the U.S. to U.S.-born students and found that the Chinese students had lower self-complexity. In Study 2, we compared adult Indian respondents to adult U.S. respondents and found no differences. These results are discussed in relation to cultural theories and intrapersonal, cognitive explanations.


Published in Journal of Integrated Social Sciences, www.JISS.org, 2015 - 5(1): 1-26