In two studies, we investigate how differences in self-construal patterns affect preferences for consumption symbols through the process of self expression. The results of Study 1 demonstrate that individuals with a dominant independent self-construal hold attitudes which allow them to express that they are distinct from others. In contrast, individuals with a dominant interdependent self-construal are more likely to hold attitudes that demonstrate points of similarity with their peers. By unpackaging these culture-based effects at an individual level through a set of mediation analyses, we show that when meaning is controlled for, the attitudinal differences across cultural groups dissipate. Study 2 provides additional evidence for the mechanism presumed to underlie the results by identifying differential schematic processes as the driver of expressed preferences. We find that differential levels of recall for similar and distinct items exist across culturally-encouraged selves, documenting higher recall for schema-inconsistent information. We discuss the results in terms of differences and similaries in psychological processes across cultures and encourage future research that expands the framework to group decisions and social preferences.