We are motivated to pursue things we want and avoid things we don’t want. We want tings tht
improve the quality of our lives such as getting access to material rewards, having stimulating
rltnships, earning respsect frm peers
Motivations for Self-Enhancement and Self-Esteem
Self-enhancement is the motivation to view oneself positively.
Self-serving biases are tendencies for ppl to exaggerate hw good they think they are.
Ppl who are motivated to secure a positive self-view are often resourceful enough to figure out a
way to get one.
Downward social comparison: comparing ur performance with someone else’s who is doing
worse than you. This way we create a favorable comparison that casts our own performance in a
Upward social comparison: comparing performance with someone who is better than you
Compensatory self-enhancement: acknowledge the poor grade you got in class but you instead to
start think abt ur excellent skills in other field. This when you try to self-enhance by recruiting other
kinds of positive thoughts abt urself
Discounting: reducing the perceived importance of the domain in which you performed poorly.
External attribution: attribute cause of actions to something outside ourselves. Internal attribution
is locating cause within ourselves such as our abilities
Bask in the reflected glory: emphasizing connection to successfully performing others and feel
btr abt ourselves by sharing in the warm glow of others’ success.
East Asians may be more motivated to enhance their grp selves rather than their individual selves
and comparisons of ppl’s individual self-enhancing don’t capture grp self-enhancing motivations.
Studies show that Westerners show stronger motivations than East Asians to enhance their group
selves as well
Westerners tend to be self-enhancing whereas East Asians do not evaluations of owned objects do
differ across cultures. The endowment effect is significantly stronger in western samples than in
East Asian ones and in some situations East Asians even appear to show a reverse effect
East Asians appear to feel as good abt themselves as do Westerners based on answers to a test
tht measures unconscious associations between the self and other positive and negative words.
Studies suggest tht east Asians like themselves as much as westerners. However, when it comes
to assessment of their competence, east Asians appear to be ore self-critical
Study with children’s stories- European Americans parents focused on past success of the child.
Taiwanese parents were more likely to tell stories abt past transgressions of the child. American
stories thus focused children’s attention on their strengths, whereas Taiwanese parents were more
likely to focus on children’s attention on areas tht needed correcting
European American parents viewed self-esteem as central to child rearing and saw it as a positive
quality tht enhanced chidren’s dvlpmnt whereas Taiwanese parents had little to say abt the words tht most closely approximated self-esteem and what they did hae to say abt it was oftem somewhat
Predestination is the idea tht before we were born, it had already been determined whether we
were one of the fortunate elect who would spend eternity in blessed heaven after our passing or go
to hell. People made greater efforts to interpret their situation in a favorable light.
The average self-esteem o American college students increased over the last few decades. Higher
than their parents’ generation as individualism has increased
Motivations for Face and Self-Improvement
To have positive self-view is to have high self-esteem
Another way is to have good deal of face which is the amnt of social value others give you I u live
up to the standards associated with ur position. The higher ur social position, greater the amnt of
face tht is available to you
- 1 characteristic of face: Face is easily lost than gained. To get higher position u have to be
promoted which can’t happen easily and can be lost if they don’t live up to the standards.
- It is always vulnerable and because others determine a person’s face, ppl must count on the
goodwill of others to be able to maintain their face
- People should be cautious and try not losing something which is called prevention
- Concern over advancing oneself and aspiring for gains is known as promotion orientation.
- Promotion focus is when we are securing on good things and prevention focus we are trying to
avoid bad things.
- Study showed that cdns more likely to persist on a task for which they think they are talented,
whereas Japanese persist more on tasks for which they believe they are untalented
- Self-improvement motivation is a desire to seek potential weaknesses and work on
correcting them is a strong motivation in East Asian context
- 2 characteristic of face is that it involves a concern with hw others are viewing oneself. Unlike
self-esteem, which involves individual evaluating himself or herself, face is maintained only
when others evaluate oneself positively. Steps people take to ensure that others think of them
positively. 1. Make a prevention orientation to identify any weaknesses tht might jeopardize
their face. 2. Present oneself to others in a way tht would enhance one’s face.
Religion and Achievement Motivation
Weber viewed capitalism as the product of people’s deriving meaning from a particular cultural
context. He proposed that capitalism grew out of a belief system that was rooted in a number of
Martin Luther he founder of Protestantism proposed that each individual had a calling where each
person has a unique God given purpose o fulfill during their moral existence. The idea was that we
are all God’s servants in the world and we each are given a specific duty or job to take care of
while we tend the planet Protestantism resulted in work becoming seen as a spiritual task. Hence, Protestants who were led
to think ab spiritual quests should become motivated to work harder. Study showed tht notions of
hard work and salvation are implicitly linked for Americans.
A second notion of weber’s thesis is that Protestants should be entirely focused on their work and
maintain a rather detached attitude toward potential distractions like other people because of the
sacred nature of their work. You can work hard and play hard but not mix the two
Another key point about Weber’s argument was that Protestant anxiety about salvation was the
driving forced behind their work ethic.
Agency and Control
The most fundamental way culture can shape our motivations is through our perceptions of control.
A theory we possess that is relevant to our experiences of control is whether we perceive our
identities to be easily malleable and changeable or stable and fixed. In addition to the implicit
theories we have about malleability of the self, there is malleability of the world too. We can see the
world as something fixed and beyond our control to change known as entity theory of the world
or we can think of the wrld as flexible and responsive to our efforts to change it known as
incremental theory of t