Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Westerners Lack Visual Self Consistency: Clothing and Location
Kanagawa, Cross and Markus (2001) found that linguistic self expression depends upon social context for Japanese, but remained unchanging in the case of Americans who were equally self-enhancing whether they talked to groups, authority figures, peers, or described themselves to themselves on their own.
I have also noted that Asians may be inclined to maintain consistency in their visual self representation such as in the case of Asians who always pose in the same way, whatever the social context.
Bull and Gibson-Robinson (1981) found that the appropriate way to express oneself visually, via ones clothes, in the UK depended upon the social situation. Smartly dressed suited persons (line A) obtained more charitable donations when they visited terrace houses (place A or B), but more informal clothes (line B) obtained higher donations when asking at high rises blocks (place C) of flats. Visual self consistency is inappropriate in the UK as verbal self-consistency is inappropriate in Japan. I predict however that in Japan one formal suited kind of attire would be appropriate in all situations and obtain the most charitable donations.
Bull, R., & Gibson-Robinson, E. (1981). The influences of eye-gaze, style of dress, and locality on the amounts of money donated to a charity. Human Relations, 34(10), 895-905.
Kanagawa, C., Cross, S. E., & Markus, H. R. (2001). ‘Who am I?’ The cultural psychology of the conceptual self. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(1), 90–103.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.