Self-believe members of western cultural groups have much more in common with the rest of the world, contradicting the generally accepted view of a “west versus the rest” divide in concepts of selfhood, says a study. The results revealed that the common belief in a cultural divide between the west and the rest of the world is little more than a myth.
There was much more diversity among cultural groups from different “non-western” parts of the world than was previously acknowledged. “Our findings suggest that members of western cultures tend to view themselves as more self-directed, unique and self-expressive and they do not typically view themselves as more self-interested or self-reliant,” said Vivian Vignoles, researcher at University of Sussex in Britain.
The research explained how self-perceptions influence social relationships, health and lifestyle choices, community engagement, political actions. Cultural psychologists have long argued that people living in western cultures show a rather distinctive pattern of self-beliefs, compared to those who live in other parts of the world.
The study, based on 35 nations involved 10,000 participants from over 50 cultural groups spanning all inhabited continents explored how people of different cultures see themselves and their relationships with others. “Western cultural groups are not an ‘exception’ but form part of the kaleidoscope of cultural diversity,” Vignoles added in the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.