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ERIC Number: ED551694
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 93
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-1851-5
Investigating the Relation between Moral Self-Enhancement and Self-Deception: A Cross-Cultural Study of U.S. and Chinese College Students
Liu, Ying
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
Testing an evolutionary framework, this study examined moral self-enhancement in relation to self-deception and self-construal in a cross-cultural context. The participants included 127 U.S. and 107 Chinese college students. The results demonstrated that moral self-enhancement is not a characteristic unique to individualistic ideology but rather a universal motivation. Regardless of their cultural groups and self-construal, participants tended to morally self-enhance, rating their own character and sense of responsibility significantly higher than those of other people. In addition, U.S. participants were more likely to morally self-enhance compared to their Chinese counterparts. At the individual level, strong independents demonstrated greater moral self-enhancement than did their strong interdependent peers among the U.S. participants, whereas greater moral self-enhancement was observed in strong interdependents but not strong independent in the Chinese sample. As hypothesized, self-deception as measured by "self-deceptive enhancement" (SDE) but not "impression management" (IM) stood out as a significant predictor of moral self-enhancement, supporting the evolutionary understanding that moral self-enhancement is an unconscious process intimately related to self-deception. Among Chinese participants, the association between moral self-enhancement and self-deception was found to be mediated through an inflated rating of others, which indicated a potential other-enhancement effect. On the one hand, results of this study regarding cultural differences in the demonstration of moral self-enhancement were in line with extant self-enhancement literature. On the other hand, the significant relationship between moral self-enhancement and self-deception as revealed in the study provided evidence against the claim that culture is the primary explanation for self-enhancement. Moral self-enhancement as a psychological adaptation to cooperation in the social environment has an evolutionary root. Findings of the study also suggested challenges facing current moral education practices. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; United States