Is self-esteem a universal need? Evidence from The People's Republic of China
Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 2, Pg. 104 - 120.
Wu, Jonathon D.
In a provocative article, Heine et al.
concluded that self-esteem needs are less important in collectivistic,
East Asian countries than in individualistic, Western ones. Their
conclusion was based, in part, on evidence that: (i) self-esteem scores
are less positively biased in Japan than in Western countries; and that
(ii) low self-esteem is less predictive of psychological distress in
Japan than in Western countries. The present research examined whether
these cultural differences occur in another collectivistic culture: The
People's Republic of China. Two meta-analyses were conducted. Study 1
found that, for young and old alike, self-esteem was positively biased,
with most participants reporting high levels of self-esteem. Study 2
found that low self-esteem in China is associated with three indicators
of psychological distress: depression, anxiety and low subjective
well-being. These findings are consistent with results in Western
samples and suggest that high self-esteem may indeed be a universal
Read the article.
(My publication)Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009