Enacting modesty in Chinese culture: The joint contribution of personal characteristics and contextual features


Michael Harris Bond, Department of Applied Social Science, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong S.A.R., China. Email: ssmhb@polyu.edu.hk


This research revealed the joint impact of personality traits, social axioms, role relationships and the privacy of social situations on the enactment of three types of modesty, namely, avoiding attention, self-effacement, and enhancement of others, among Hong Kong Chinese teenage females. The modest personality trait was found to relate positively to these modest behaviours. An individual's belief in reward for application significantly predicted self-effacement, and the belief in social cynicism significantly predicted avoiding attention and enhancement of others. Contextual variables as measured by the role relationships and the privacy of the social setting also significantly affected the levels of these modest behaviours.