Self- and Other-presentational styles in the Southern and Northern United States: An analysis of personal ads


Janetta Lun, Department of Psychology, 1147 Biology-Psychology Building, College Park, MD 20742.



Two studies examined regional differences in self- and other-presentational styles in the Southern and Northern regions of the USA. A content analysis of 400 personal ads from Northern and Southern newspapers revealed that Northern ads contained more descriptions of the self and desired partner that are context-free and under personal control, whereas Southern ads depicted more contextualized and less controllable aspects of self and partner (study 1). Moreover, self-identified Northern and Southern Americans were shown to prefer ads in the style of their region over other ads (study 2). We conclude that not only do regional differences in self- and other-presentations exist in the USA but that these differences are also reinforced by others who share the regional culture. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.