Cultural differences in attitude toward and effects of self‐doubt

Qin Zhao, Liming Gong
Published Online:
16 Aug 2018
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 54 Issue 6

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It has been argued that the high achievement of Confucian Asian students is at the cost of their psychological well‐being, since high self‐doubt consistently accompanies their high achievement. However, other researchers cautioned that the attitude toward self‐doubt could be different in Asian versus Western cultures. This study examined the debate with a survey of both American and Chinese college students that measured level of self‐doubt, attitude toward self‐doubt, beliefs about ability, and psychological well‐being outcomes. As hypothesized, Chinese students showed a more positive attitude toward self‐doubt than American students, despite having higher level of self‐doubt. Furthermore, self‐doubt engendered less negative consequences on Chinese students' psychological well‐being, relative to American students. Implications for theories and research on cultural differences in the effects of self‐constructs are discussed.

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