Self-control plays an important role in human’s daily life. In the recent two decades, scholars have exerted tremendous effort to examine the etiologies of the individual differences in self-control. Among numerous predictors of self-control, the role of culture has been relatively overlooked. In this study, the influences of cultural orientation on self-control were examined based on the collectivism-individualism framework using both self-report and behavioral task to assess self-control. A convenience sample of 542 Chinese and 446 U.S. undergraduates participated in the research. They were invited to fill out self-report questionnaires reporting their levels of attitudinal self-control and individualistic-collectivistic orientation after completing a computer-based Stroop task. Results of hierarchical regression models showed that Chinese participants reported less attitudinal self-control but had higher behavioral self-control than their U.S. counterparts. Moreover, individual-level individualism and collectivism was negatively and positively related to attitudinal self-control in both countries, respectively. Individual-level collectivism was significantly related to better behavioral self-control, but no significant results were found for the relationship between individual-level individualism and behavioral self-control. In sum, individualism and collectivism have some influences on individual differences in self-control. Implications for future research were discussed.
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Kai Dou received support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NO. 31800938), http://www.nsfc.gov.cn/, the MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (No. 17YJCZH040), https://www.sinoss.net/, the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (NO. 2018A030313406), http://www.gdstc.gov.cn/, the 13th “Five-Year” Plan of Philosophy and Social Science of Guangdong Province (No. GD16YXL01), http://www.gdpplgopss.gov.cn/, and Guangzhou University’s training program for excellent new-recruited doctors (No. YB201707), http://www.gzhu.edu.cn/. Jian-Bin Li received support from the FEHD Internationalization & Exchange Research Scheme of the Education University of Hong Kong.
All relevant data are in the paper and its Supporting Information files.
S1 File. Culture and self-control—Minimized data. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208541.s001 (SAV)
Li, Jian-Bin; Vazsonyi, Alexander T.; and Dou, Kai, "Is Individualism-Collectivism Associated with Self-Control? Evidence from Chinese and U.S. Samples" (2018). Family Sciences Faculty Publications. 2.