Self-Identity as Measured by the Frequencies of Independent, Collective, and Relational Self-Construals
Messenger, Marci L.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-concept and identity of college-age male and female students using the definition of self-construal, defined by Markus and Kitayama (1991) that is one's understanding ofhow much he or she is connected to others. These researchers defined the self using two self-construals: The interdependent self-construal and independent self-construal. In an interdependent self-construal, relationships with others are central in one's self-definition and behavior. The self based around the independent and autonomous self is the independent self-construal. Researchers want to expand the knowledge on construals of the self by evaluating the possibility of a third self-construal, the relational self-construal, as termed by Brewer and Gardner ( 1996). The measurement of self-concept through the self-construals will be found by coding Gordon's "Identity Classification Scheme" of eight different categories into the three desired categories of this study: the Independent self-construal, Collective self-construal, and Relational self-construal. Markus and Kitayama noted that the type of self-construal may have a large influence on one's experiences and actions. Cross and Madson (1997a) stated that differences in self-construals between genders could explain differences in personality, development, and behavior. Researchers in the present study hypothesize that women will show more relational thoughts than men while the male participants will display more independent and collective thoughts than the females. No significant differences were found among the interaction of gender and type of selfconstrual.