Culture-Dependent Assimilation and Differentiation of the Self
Stanford University - Graduate School of Business
Bernd H. Schmitt
Columbia Business School - International Business
Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, Vol. 32, pp. 561-576, September 2001
In two studies, we investigate how differences in self-construal patterns affect preferences for consumption symbols through the process of self-expression. The results of Study 1 demonstrate that individuals with a dominant independent self-construal bold attitudes that allow them to express that they are distinct from others. In contrast, individuals with a dominant interdependent self-construal are more likely to hold attitudes that demonstrate points of similarity with their peers. Study 2 provides additional evidence for the mechanism presumed to underlie the results by identifying differential schematic processes as the driver of expressed preferences. We find that differential levels of recall for similar and distinct items exist across culturally-encouraged selves, documenting higher recall for schema-inconsistent information. We discuss the results and encourage future research that expands the framework to group decisions and social preferences.
Keywords: culture, assimilation, differentation, consumption, symbols, consumer
JEL Classification: M30, M31
Date posted: August 6, 2011
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