Perceived Cultural Importance and Actual Self-Importance of Values in Cultural Identification

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Cross-cultural psychologists assume that core cultural values define to a large extent what a culture is. Typically, core values are identified through an actual self-importance approach, in which core values are those that members of the culture as a group strongly endorse. In this article, the authors propose a perceived cultural importance approach to identifying core values, in which core values are values that members of the culture as a group generally believe to be important in the culture. In 5 studies, the authors examine the utility of the perceived cultural importance approach. Results consistently showed that, compared with values of high actual self-importance, values of high perceived cultural importance play a more important role in cultural identification. These findings have important implications for conceptualizing and measuring cultures.

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