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Dynamic self-representation of interdependent Chinese: The effect of bicultural experience

Authors

  • Sisi Xi,

    1. School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
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  • Marhaba Mamat,

    1. Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing, China
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  • Chaoqin Luo,

    1. School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
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  • Yanhong Wu

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
    2. Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing, China
    • Correspondence should be addressed to Yanhong Wu, School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, 5 Yiheyuan Road, Beijing 100871, China. (E-mail: wuyh@pku.edu.cn).

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  • This work was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (12AZD116), and the Open Research Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning (CNLYB1316).

Abstract

The process of globalisation has increased the opportunity for Chinese individuals to utilise influences from other cultures that differ from their own collectivistic culture. The explorations of the impact of acculturation on Chinese individuals' self-construals have become intriguing. Thus, we recruited German-Chinese (N = 192) people who live in Germany and had direct bicultural experiences, as well as Mainland-Chinese (N = 192) people who live in Mainland China and had internalised a second culture through more indirect means of exposure. We investigated their accessibility to both interdependent and independent cultural frameworks using temporal self-construal priming. The results showed that priming effects were observed in both cultural groups. However, the self-construals of the German-Chinese participants were more flexible than those of Mainland-Chinese under self-construal priming. Also, the results suggested that women were easier to be influenced by direct bicultural experiences, due to their private and collective self were different between the two cultures. These findings provide evidence regarding the opinion that individuals could use influences from more than one culture. More importantly, these results suggest that the acculturation induced by direct bicultural experiences facilitates cultural frame switching.

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