Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Cultural Differences in Self-Esteem

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1126-1



People’s overall evaluation of themselves appears to differ systematically across cultures; that is, average levels of self-esteem appear to vary across cultures. These differences seem to stem, at least in part, from the stronger emphasis placed on the cultivation of positive self-esteem in Western cultures compared to non-Western cultures, cultures in East Asia particularly.

Culture and Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to people’s overall positive or negative evaluation of themselves. Self-esteem is a core topic in psychology research. The importance of self-esteem as a research topic may reflect a historical concern in Western societies with autonomy, dignity, and the power of individuals (Gilovich et al. 2010). Interestingly, the emphasis placed on positive self-esteem appears to be stronger than ever in Western societies. Research examining historical trends in American college students’ level of self-esteem reveals an...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christian Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada