Seeing the self through rose-colored glasses: A cross-cultural study of positive illusions using a behavioral approach

Hyunji Kim, Hwaryung Lee, Ronda F. Lo, Eunkook M. Suh, Ulrich Schimmack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies on self-enhancement bias used self-report measures to investigate individual and cultural differences in well-being. In the current research, we took a behavioral approach to analyze positive and negative perception tendencies between European Canadians, Asian Canadians and Koreans. In Study 1 and 2, participants were asked to bet on their expectation of success on a given task and then perform the task. The betting behaviors and actual performance were used to quantify positive and negative perception tendencies. In Study 1, we did not find cultural differences in positive and negative illusions. Positive self-perceptions were also not associated with higher self-reported well-being. In Study 2, we employed the same research design as Study 1, and we included a measure of perceived desirability to examine whether perceived desirability of the performance tasks are related to the two illusions indices. The results from Study 2 replicated the findings from Study 1, and perceived desirability did not influence the results. Our findings suggest that North Americans do not always exhibit more positive self-perceptions than Asians, suggesting that North Americans do not always view the self through rose-colored lenses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0274535
JournalPloS one
Issue number10 October
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Coun-cil Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant awarded to the first author, H.K. The first study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Institutional Grant awarded to the last author, U.S. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The authors are grateful to the research assistants for their help with data collection and data management: Olaoluwa Ayankogbe, Sarah Attique, Hayeon Choe, Navreet Dhanju, Nena Djuric, Napta Elsadig, Peter Ferrell, Jay Gandhi, Hymnjyot Gill, Dolunay Kocabag, Ji Hyun Lee, Jonathan Leung, Audrey Li-Chay-Chung, Musharraf Nazeer, Ali Samani, Melvin Sert, Michelle Stopher, Rahin Virani, and Natalie Vitiello.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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