Not All Selves Feel the Same Uncertainty: Motivated Assimilation to Primes among Individualists and Collectivists

Not All Selves Feel the Same Uncertainty: Motivated Assimilation to Primes among Individualists and Collectivists

By
Kimberly Rios Morrison, Camille S. Johnson, S. Christian Wheeler
Social Psychological and Personality Science.
2012, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Pages 118-126

Three experiments and a pilot study demonstrated that uncertainty about the self is uncomfortable (Pilot Study) and causes people to change their self-concepts in response to primes (Experiments 1–3), depending on both the nature of the uncertainty and how the self is defined. In Experiment 1, Asian Americans assimilated to a stereotype prime when made to feel uncertain about their collective selves, whereas European Americans assimilated to the prime when made to feel uncertain about their individual selves. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated the assimilation effect with a trait prime, and using individualism–collectivism instead of ethnicity as the moderator.