Self-Construal and Identity

  • Rolando Díaz-Loving
Part of the Latin American Voices book series (LAVIPH)


Self-concept is essential to the description of human beings. Authors from individualistic cultures have offered different definitions and measures of the self, sharing the idea that the self is a social entity that emerges from the constant dialectic relationships with others. However, there is great difficulty in using definitions and instruments developed in one ecosystem to describe the peoples from other cultures. In Mexico, philosophers wrote about the character of the Mexican during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The general conclusion was that an inferiority complex was present in Mexicans, who constantly compared themselves to Europeans. In order to empirically study the self-concept of the Mexican, brainstorming sessions identified five dimensions: physical, social, emotional, ethical, and occupational. These dimensions are also found in the universal literature, which means that self-concept dimensions are general categories found across cultures. However, the ecologically valid definition and behaviors that represent each dimension could be different. To test this, participants offered adjectives in response to each stimulus category. Resulting attributes were set with antonyms on a semantic differential scale with the concept “I am.” Factor analysis of responses results in culturally sensitive and relevant factors. As a result, the Mexican self is profoundly social affiliative and centered on fluid amiable personal relationships. The conceptualization of the Mexican self, obtained using bottom up methodologies, is equivalent and correlates highly with the Mexican types obtained in previous research using the historic-socio-cultural premises as the basis, offering convergent validity for the construct. Theoretically congruent relationships to other psychological variables are also presented in the chapter.


Self-concept Identity Mexican character and types 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolando Díaz-Loving
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyNational Autonomous University of MexicoMexico CityMexico

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