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Culture-Dependent Assimilation and Differentiation of the Self

Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, Vol. 32, pp. 561-576, September 2001

Posted: 6 Aug 2011  

Jennifer Aaker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Bernd H. Schmitt

Columbia Business School - International Business

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Aaker, Jennifer and Schmitt, Bernd H., Culture-Dependent Assimilation and Differentiation of the Self (2001). Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, Vol. 32, pp. 561-576, September 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1905707

Jennifer Lynn Aaker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Bernd H. Schmitt

Columbia Business School - International Business ( email )

New York, NY
United States
212-854-3468 (Phone)
212-854-7647 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.meetschmitt.com

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