Spontaneous self-concept among Chinese undergraduates in Hong Kong

Marie Lam1, Godfrey Chan2, Marcus M. Marcet1, Wilfred Wong2, James Wong1, David Wong1
1Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Cite this article:  Lam, M., Chan, G., Marcet, M., Wong, W., Wong, J., & Wong, D. (2014). Spontaneous self-concept among Chinese undergraduates in Hong Kong. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42, 1353-1364.

Volume 42 Issue 8 | e3072 | Published: September 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.8.1353

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We explored spontaneous self-concept among 227 Chinese undergraduates at a university in Hong Kong. Participants’ responses to the Twenty Statements Test (TST) were compared with those of North American college students from the 1950s to the 2000s. The results showed that only 13.7% of the Chinese students described themselves in terms of social roles, status, or group membership. In contrast, 84.6% perceived themselves in terms of personality traits, behaviors, and emotion. Our findings suggest that Chinese undergraduates in Hong Kong are no less individualistic than their American counterparts. Moreover, the individualism– collectivism cultural dimension may not be useful in distinguishing North American students from those in Hong Kong.

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