Being oneself through time: bases of self-continuity across 55 cultures

Becker, Maja, Vignoles, Vivian L, Owe, Ellinor, Easterbrook, Matthew J, Brown, Rupert, Smith, Peter B, Abuhamdeh, Sami, Ayala, Boris Cendales, Garðarsdóttir, Ragna B, Torres, Ana, Camino, Leoncio, Bond, Michael Harris, Nizharadze, George, Amponsah, Benjamin, Gallo, Inge Schweiger and others, (2018) Being oneself through time: bases of self-continuity across 55 cultures. Self and Identity, 17 (3). pp. 276-293. ISSN 1529-8868

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Abstract

Self-continuity – the sense that one’s past, present, and future are meaningfully connected – is considered a defining feature of personal identity. However, bases of self-continuity may depend on cultural beliefs about personhood. In multilevel analyses of data from 7287 adults from 55 cultural groups in 33 nations, we tested a new tripartite theoretical model of bases of self-continuity. As expected, perceptions of stability, sense of narrative, and associative links to one’s past each contributed to predicting the extent to which people derived a sense of self-continuity from different aspects of their identities. Ways of constructing self-continuity were moderated by cultural and individual differences in mutable (vs. immutable) personhood beliefs – the belief that human attributes are malleable. Individuals with lower mutability beliefs based self-continuity more on stability; members of cultures where mutability beliefs were higher based self-continuity more on narrative. Bases of self-continuity were also moderated by cultural variation in contextualized (vs. decontextualized) personhood beliefs, indicating a link to cultural individualism-collectivism. Our results illustrate the cultural flexibility of the motive for self-continuity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellena Adams
Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 11:44
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2020 16:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68078

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