The Jury and Abjury of My Peers: The Self in Face and Dignity Cultures

Young Hoon Kim, Dov Cohen, Wing Tung Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)


The self is defined and judged differently by people from face and dignity cultures (in this case, Hong Kong and the United States, respectively). Across 3 experiments, people from a face culture absorbed the judgments of other people into their private self-definitions. Particularly important for people from a face culture are public representations-knowledge that is shared and known to be shared about someone. In contrast, people from a dignity culture try to preserve the sovereign self by not letting others define them. In the 3 experiments, dignity culture participants showed a studied indifference to the judgments of their peers, ignoring peers' assessments-whether those assessments were public or private, were positive or negative, or were made by qualified peers or unqualified peers. Ways that the self is " knotted" up with social judgments and cultural imperatives are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-916
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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