Thursday, April 02, 2015
Honest Japanese, Proud Americans?
In linguistic scales of self worth, such as self esteem, Japanese are inclined to rate themselves on average a little above the median point of the scale. This is to be expected if they are rating their worth honestly and accurately.
The above results show the self-esteem distribution of Japanese (who have never been abroad, since just visiting the west is inclined to inflate pride) and for North Americans (Canadians, I believe a US sample would be even more extreme). In the USA the only population that evaluates themselves realistically are the clinically depressed (Taylor and Brown, 1988).
When Japanese are asked to rate themselves using manga - a visual test of self worth - there is a similar self-evaluation distribution to Americans, quewed towards the positive, boastful side of the graph.
The above image is reproduced without permission from pages 776 and 777 from Heine et. al. (1999). I am always quoting this research so I felt that it should be viewable on the Internet, as it already is in pdf form but, I will cease and desist immediately should you require m(_ _ )m.
Heine, S. J., Lehman, D. R., Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1999). Is there a universal need for positive self-regard?. Psychological review, 106(4), 766.
Taylor, S. E., & Brown, J. D. (1994). Positive illusions and well-being revisited: separating fact from fiction.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.