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When what you have is who you are: self-uncertainty leads individualists to see themselves in their possessions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21487114     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Four studies tested whether uncertainty about the self-concept can motivate people, particularly individualists who define themselves in terms of their personal traits and characteristics, to perceive their material possessions as extensions of themselves (i.e., as self-expressive). In Study 1, European American participants rated their favorite pair of blue jeans as more self-expressive after being induced to feel self-uncertain, whereas Asian American participants did not. In Study 2, participants who scored high on a measure of individualism rated their cars as more self-expressive following a self-uncertainty manipulation. In Study 3, individualists (but not collectivists) rated their favorite possessions as more self-expressive after being subject to self-uncertainty; a manipulation of self-irrelevant uncertainty did not produce these results. In Study 4, thinking about a self-expressive (relative to utilitarian) possession bolstered self-certainty among individualists, but not collectivists. Implications for research on culture, the self-concept, and possessions are discussed.
Authors:
Kimberly Rios Morrison; Camille S Johnson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Personality & social psychology bulletin     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1552-7433     ISO Abbreviation:  Pers Soc Psychol Bull     Publication Date:  2011 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-04-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7809042     Medline TA:  Pers Soc Psychol Bull     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  639-51     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. morrisonk@uchicago.edu.
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