Psychological Studies

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 78–87 | Cite as

Self-Construals in Situational Context: Disaggregating Behaviours and Intentions Using Sinha et al.’s (2002) Decision-Making Scenarios

  • Natasha Koustova
  • Catherine T. Kwantes
  • Ben C. H. Kuo
Research in Progress


The present study examined the influence of independent and interdependent self-construals and social context on decision-making using a set of hypothetical scenarios. Following the methodology of Sinha et al. (J Psychol 37(5):309–319, 2002., a sample of Canadian undergraduate students was presented with 16 decision-making scenarios. Scenarios were divided into two clusters depending on interaction target: nine scenarios related to conflict between personal needs versus family and friends, and seven scenarios related to conflict between personal needs versus community or society. Participants were asked to choose one of five responses: collectivist behaviour with collectivist intent, individualist behaviour with individualist intent, collectivist behaviour with individualist intent, individualist behaviour with collectivist intent, or a mix of collectivist and individualist behaviours and intentions. Participant self-construal was measured orthogonally using Singelis’ (Personal Soc Psychol Bull 20(5):580–591, 1994) Self-Construal Scale. The results suggest that a complex mix of self-concept, situation, and interaction target influenced participant behaviours and intentions. Biggest differences were observed between participants who scored high on one construal and low on the other: those who were more independent were more likely to choose individualist behaviours and intentions, and those who were more interdependent tended to choose more collectivist options. Interdependent self-construal was found to curtail individualist intentions, but not behaviour. Both independent and interdependent participants made collectivist choices towards family and friends as opposed to the greater community. The results have implications for studying the influence of self-concept and cultural norms on behaviour.


Self-construal Situation/context Social cognition Interpersonal influences Cultural norms Behaviours and intentions 


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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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