How to define the structure of relationship and action in the concept of human being in Germany and Peru - a cross-cultural study

Master's Thesis, 1999

114 Pages, Grade: 2 (B)


Table of Contents

1. Declaration



I. Theoretical models to explain development
1. Piaget’s theory
2. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development and his dilemma stories
3. The ‘Zone of proximal development’ (ZPD)
4. The structured approach by Oerter, including the five stages
5. Theoretical explanation to the interview
6. Culture and the self
6.1 Integrative model of universal stages and culture-specific patterns by Oerter
6.2 The self – an independent view (‘western view’) by Markus & Kitayama (1991)

II. Method
1. Hypotheses
2. Adulthood interview and the dilemma stories
3. Procedure
4. Sample

III. Results
1. Transformation of interview data about the ‘ideal person’ into relational structures
1.1 Characteristic structures for ‘ideal person’
1.2 Fig. 2 Substructures of the five characteristic structures of ‘ideal person’ in Germany 1996
1.3 Summary of ‘ideal person’
2. Responsibility: Transformation of the interview data into action structures
2.1 Characteristic structures for responsibility
2.2 Fig. 4 Substructures of the three characteristic structures of responsibility
2.3 Explanation for the graphics used to express Responsibility
3. Structure and statements from the campesinos/as for responsibility in 1996
3.1 Explanation for Fig. 5
3.2 Explanation for Fig. 6
3.3 Structures and statements from the campesinos/as for ‘ideal person’ in 1996, Fig. 7

IV. Summary and Conclusion

Appendix 1
Translation of the parts ‘ideal person’ and responsibility of some Spanish interviews into English
Appendix 2
An example about a whole Spanish interview, including the dilemmas

Figure for Table 1



I hereby certify that the work embodied in this thesis

is the result of original research on my own and has not

been submitted for a higher degree to any other University

of Institution.

Munich, the 31st of December, 1999 (Signed) _______________


Sincere thanks to my supervisor, Prof. R. Oerter, Department of Pedagogical Psychology and Empirical Pedagogy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, for his excellent guidance,

council and patience.

Thanks to the initiator of the Excellence program, Prof. K. A. Heller, Department of Educational Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, and all the people who work in this program,

for their help and support during studying.

Finally, special thanks to my family, in particular to my grandmother, for supporting me and understanding my way of doing.


This work is part of an investigation about the concept of human nature (Oerter et al., 1996). The investigation started in 1996 in West and East Germany as well as in Peru. A further investigation took place in 1998. The interviewed persons were between 18 and 25 years old. The researchers were Prof. Rolf Oerter and his co-workers in Germany and Peru (Oerter et al., 1999). The aim was to compare the concept of human nature in Germany and Peru. For my investigation, I analyzed parts of these interviews, which were done in 1996 with West and East German people as well as with campesinos/as, living in the Andes of Peru. I choose this topic, because for me it is very interesting to compare two different cultures with a different background, to find out, if there will be any common ground. The research questions are:

Are the levels of the structures about the concept of human nature universal? And:

Explain the substructures, which I developed, an increasing complexity about the concept of human nature?

The concept of human nature should be understood as a theoretical construction, which you can measure with a certain method, and this is an individual construction about a personal naive philosophy of human beings, which means to stimulate the implicit anthropology, an individual built up during his life span, where the background is defined by his meanings and actions. The five stages about the concept of human nature (Oerter, R., 1995), proved in former cross-cultural studies, which have already a theoretical background, will be explained later on and are fundamental for this work. Therefore, you need to know about the cognitive thinking of human beings, and how to measure this.

How to measure cognitive structures?

We consider the constructivistic approach for this investigation as an appropriate method. The investigation of the concept of human nature (Menschenbild) (Oerter, R. 1989) includes at the same time pre- and post-constructive activity of the researcher and interviewer, who introduce their knowledge, opinions and theoretical concepts. The results are general levels of the concept of human nature, some specific structures produced by the subjects, includes analytical categories, patterns, and figures of reasoning.

The concept is understood like explained, as the individual’s theory or philosophy about human beings as a part of his/her world view. While asking a subject for his/her opinion, knowledge, and beliefs about human nature, he or she will try to bring his/her knowledge and beliefs about this issue together, and construct a meaningful whole. From the constructivism viewpoint the individual uses long-term and short-term activities in his/her answers. Long-term construction includes all experience that was transformed into declarative knowledge and can therefore be retrieved and performed. A lot of this knowledge is interrelated with other domains, like knowledge about the world, with psychological knowledge and with the personal biography. Short-term constructive activity is elicited by the questions of the interviewer and the material presented for assessment of the concept of human nature. The individual combines parts of his/her declarative knowledge according to the questions posed by the interviewer and according to since, they are always referring in one or the other way to the personal biography as one’s own life story, and they are telling a story about human beings. This narrative notion seems to describe adequately the process of construction (Bruner, 1986). The next constructive contribution comes from the investigator and/or the interviewer. In an investigation you will not get directly the subject’s cognitive structure. The researcher starts with explicit theoretical assumptions about the topic under investigation. Those assumptions determine the method by which the subject is investigated. The questions in the interview should be formulated according to this theoretical background. Thus, the subject meets contents, perspectives, and in the whole, concepts that are not his/her own concepts. The performance of the subject is a result of his/her own constructive activity and the construction of the researcher.

The content aspects of the structure include the value, goals, opinions and beliefs of a subject as well as the main themes occupying the subject at the time of investigation.

For the measurement of the concept of human nature we used two methods of structural thinking. One by Piaget, the so-called clinical method while asking children specific questions about physical and chemical problems. The other method, by Kohlberg, which stimulate the subject to produce the highest possible structure of the concept of human nature. We guess, with this background, using interviews is one of best method for getting reliable results about the levels of structures of the concept of human nature.

Furthermore, the latest research on the effectiveness of interviews (Huffcult & Woehr, 1999), like the one we used or familiar ones, can support this statement. They found out that two main factors are important to guarantee the validity of the interviews:

The same interviewer should be used across all the interviewees and training should be provided to interviewers, regardless of whether the interview itself is structured (Huffcutt & Woehr, 1999).

As explained before, this work is part of a cultural comparison study about the self and the self concept from young adults at the age of 18 to 25, campesinos/as, living in the Andes near Cusco, Peru, as well as young adults in former East and West Germany (students and workers). It is interesting to know the whole structure about the self concept, where the single elements of knowledge refer to one another. To get an idea about this concept you need to work methodologically. We used qualitative semi-structured interviews for the first part of the interview, to get basic answers about friendship, happiness, responsibility, and so on. The questions were like ‘Is friendship important to you?’ or ‘What means happiness to you?’. Others are ‘How should the ideal person be?’ or ‘How do you describe responsibility?’, which is my part to evaluate, and I choose it, because these two questions seems to be the most interesting one to me. I am curious, how a person from a different cultural background sees another person, and which qualities are important for them. Responsibility is important in our life. Everybody has another imagination and interpretation, and is there something in common? Furthermore, we integrated the dilemma-methods according to Kohlberg (1963) and Selman (1980), which were supported with empirical evidence, and widely used in other cross-cultural studies. The answers from the interviewee will be categorized into relational structures (in the case of the ‘ideal person’) and action structures (in the case of responsibility). These structures were developed, to get a detailed information about the developmental stages in the concept of human beings, especially for the stages III a and III b. Furthermore it is interesting to explain the answers of the interviews in a different way – a visual and graphical one.

We need to understand the level of the structure like developmental stages, where we can find on the one hand the conception of Piaget and Kohlberg (hierarchy, integration, consolidation, structuring and equilibration), and on the other hand structures of knowledge (Mandl, Friedrich und Hron, 1988), where the context and the form is connected with one another. The logic of the structure level is independent from the culture, it is universal. The question is: Does any universality exist for all cultures at every time? Presupposition in every case is a cultural environment, which makes a higher level of development possible.

The content of the knowledge structures is first the result of post-construction of the cultural definition on self concept (ethnotheory) and, second the result of construction from individual unique experiences in a certain culture. Tulkin (1977) did a study about mother-child-interaction. The first question was: Do epistemological systems and belief systems influence the actual educational behavior? The second question was: In the case they do, how do they influence? They used data about the ethnotheories (belief systems) as well as data gathered during observations of mother and child at home or in the lab. There was a significant correlation between the epistemology of the mother, interaction and developmental stage of the child. Mothers from the middle classes thought they and their children were more competent than mothers and children from the lower classes. Altogether, the correlation about the epistemology of the mother and the actual behavior of the child was higher than it was from the lower classes mother-child-interaction; the highest correlation was found between the epistemologies to stimulate the child paying attention and respond, the feeling and behavior of the child. Thus, the results show that ethnotheories or epistemologies alone do not have any effect on the interaction, but this knowledge must be transferred into the behavior of the parents. Therefore, in theory there is a distinction between three different parts of self concept:

a) the formal-logical structure of every stage from the self concept, which means one stage after the other,
b) a general structure of knowledge, which comes from the certain culture,
c) and knowledge structures, which results from personal experience, like critical life events, and which are more or less integrated in the entire self concept.

I. Theoretical models to explain development

There are parts from different theories, which are more or less the basis for this work.

The first theory is Piaget’s clinical method. He worked with children and not with young adults, but it is as well appropriate for them. During the interview, the interviewee is asked in a way, to get to the highest possible structure of the concept of human being. This you can compare with the processes of ‘assimilation’, ‘accommodation’, and finally ‘equilibrium’ in the case of the children, asked by Piaget’s method. The next theory is Kohlberg’s theory of moral development and his dilemma stories. The third one is the ‘Zone of proximal development’ (ZPD), which is the scheme of questioning by trying to guide the interviewee to the highest possible level of structure (Vygotsky, 1987), and the next one is the structured approach with the five stages of the concept of human nature by Oerter. Finally the last one gives a theoretical explanation to the interviews in general.

1. Piaget’s theory:

Piaget said, human intelligence is active and constructive. Thus, as the child is an independent person, an adult has to accept a child as he/she is. For example, an interviewer has to accept responses to questions as they are, right or wrong. A child’s errors are actually natural steps to understanding. Therefore one of his interview methods is flexibility. Children have their own ways of figuring out, organizing ideas or recalling a visual presentation, and there are systematic differences between children’s and adult’s view of the world. Starting with a few basic structures available at birth, the child begins interacting with his environment to reorganize these structures and to develop new ones. Thus, knowledge is being constructed by the child through the interactions between his mental structures and the environment. Intellectual development is the process of restructuring knowledge. There are two processes in action, the resistance to change and the need for change. One leads to stability and the other one to growth, both processes operate simultaneously. In the process of ‘assimilation’ – incorporating our perceptions of new experiences into our existing framework – we resist change even to the extent that our perceptions may be ‘bent’ to fit the existing framework. In the other process, so-called ‘accommodation’, we modify and enrich structures in our framework as a result of new input demanding changes. The balance between these processes is essential, if the child’s interactions with the environment are to lead to progressively higher levels of understanding. Piaget calls this active intellectual balance with the environment ‘equilibrium’.

2. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development and his dilemma stories

Kohlberg adapted Piaget’s clinical interview technique in order to develop a standardized procedure for eliciting subjects’ moral reasoning by presenting them moral dilemma scenarios. The interviewee needs to make decisions about what a person should do. The justification is then submitted to a careful qualitative coding procedure, which enables the researcher to classify the moral level of the respondent. An example here is one of the best-known of Kohlberg’s dilemmas, the case of Heinz:

‘In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $ 200 for the radium and charged $ 2.000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1000, which is half of what it costs. He told the druggist that his wife was dying, and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said, ’No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.’

Heinz got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife. Should the husband have done that? Why? (Kohlberg, 1963, pp. 18-19).’

Kohlberg interviewed a lot of people in America between 10 – 16 years old. On this basis he developed three broad levels of moral reasoning. The first one was a ‘morality of constraint’, in which the child sees morality as imposed by persons with enough power; the next one is, a ‘morality of convention’, in which the child sees authority and rules as contributing to the maintenance of the social order, and the last one, a ‘post-conventional level’, in which the young person sees morality in terms of principles of justice and abstract values. Every level is held to consist of two stages, Kohlberg said, moral development involves sequential, stage-by-stage and progress. Not everyone is able to reach the higher stages, (just a few reached stage 6, thus Kohlberg later dropped it from the model), but all individuals progress in the same, logical order. This theory is a classic cognitive developmental theory. Hugh amounts of research were conducted in the US, and in other cultures to test predictions arising from Kohlberg’s theory in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The results of this investigations broadly confirmed the cross-sectional pattern: with increasing age, subjects tended to reach higher stages. The next step was, whether the same developmental sequence is found in other cultures. Kohlberg (1969) reported that children in Britain, Mexico - Yucatan, Taiwan, Turkey, and the US, showed similar sequences of development, though there was some tendency for individuals in the nonindustrialized contexts to proceed through the stages at a slower pace than their Western counterparts. A review of 44 studies completed in 26 different cultures around the globe, concludes that the cross-cultural universality of the model is well supported.

3. The ‘Zone of proximal development’ (ZPD)

The interviewees were asked series of questions, which belong to the different levels of structure of the concept of human being. The scheme of questioning is oriented to the ‘concept of the zone of the proximal development’ (later used: ZPD) by trying to guide the interviewee to the highest possible level of structure (Vygotsky, 1987; Oerter, 1992). Vygotsky used this term in the following connection: The very first source of the development of the inner individual traits in the personality of a child is the co-operation (we need to understand this word in a global sense) with other people (Vygotsky, 1987, S. 85). The ‘ZPD’ is positioned above the actual level of development and marks the area, which the child will be appropriate the next. The way is to do a task by instruction, fulfil and master it. There are three types of ‘ZPD’:

The first type includes all forms of intentional instruction, which is formal and informal education. For example, when the mother helps the child in a special task or instructs the child, one can find development according to ‘ZPD’, as well during school lessons, where this development ‘is running in front of’ the child’s development, which Vygotsky demands.

The second type means the form of promoting development with a stimulating environment. This is in the western cultures stimulating objects like books, painting material, and playthings for construction. Whereas, in other cultures like Africa, the children construct their own playthings.

The last type is the game itself. From Vygotsky’s point of view (Vygotsky 1966, cited according to Valsiner, 1987) games produce the ‘ZPD’, where the child proceeds to the level above the actual stage of development.

Above all, playing is the best method in supporting the development for the child to get to the next higher level of development, if the child interacts with competent partners.

This concept needs to have two more terms to make it suitable for cultural development and socialization. These are the ‘zone of free movement’ and the ‘zone of promoted action’. Why do we want ‘ZPD’ suitable for that? Because personal development is always seen in context to the cultural background and the socialization of a person. Therefore, how do we define culture and socialization? Culture is defined with the knowledge, skills and information you learn. That is the totality of whatever all persons learn from all other persons. It is all of the symbolic behavior, especially language, that makes possible the transmission of wisdom, in the form of techniques for coping with the environment, from generation to generation. A few characteristics of culture, which are often mentioned and influence peoples behavior, are: skills, knowledge, language, music, art forms, attitudes values, beliefs rules, norms, standards, hopes, fears, doubts, convictions. These characteristics are shared and transmitted from people to people.

How can culture be transmitted? It can be transmitted by teaching and learning, by child-rearing and child-training processes, as also mentioned before. Human beings have a long period of physical dependency, which continues throughout lifetime because of the continuous dependency upon family group. There exist six central dimensions of child-rearing, which are common to all societies. These dimensions are:

- obedience training
- responsibility training
- nurturance training
- achievement training
- self-reliance training
- general independence training.

These six dimensions tend to form two types of society:

One type has the pressure towards compliance, which is rearing for responsibility and obedience.

The other type has the stress on assertion, which is rearing for achievement, self-reliance and independence.

These two types can refer to the independent and interdependent self in specific cultures.

In this context socialization means accommodation of one’s own behavior to that of others; the individual is led to develop behavior confined to a range, which is customary and acceptable for him/her according to the standards of his/her group. Every person is born into a particular social context, where he/she learns to make certain responses and not others, for example language acquisition, conditions of expressing/suppressing emotions or reactions to authority figures and vice versa. It typically involves rewarding approved behavior, and punishing or not reinforcing unwanted behavior. Anyone who possess power relative to us can socialize us (for example parents, teachers, other adults, peers). This is called deliberate shaping – learning by being taught. Therefore, individual development is not possible without culture or socialization.

All the parts of the theories mentioned before, are needed as a background, to understand human beings in general. Human development is not a single process, there are a lot of important factors mentioned, which influence this. All these parts fit into the structured approach, coming up now, which is the basis to categorize the interviews, and get a further idea about the concept of human nature.

4. The structured approach by Oerter, including the five stages

The theoretical approach of the five levels of conceptualization of human nature was developed and tested in pilot studies. A manual categorizing statements of a broad range of subjects into these levels was developed as a result (Oerter, R., 1999). Furthermore, Table 1 (Levels of the concept of human nature) will give an overview about the five developmental stages. They follow a developmental logic in general, from stage I to IV. There is a distinction between three dimensions, which are increasing complexity, growing integration and a growth from the surface to the depth structure in describing the human being.

The five main levels plus a new one (III c) for the campesinos/as, living in the Andes of Peru, of implicit anthropology, which are used to investigate individual’s conceptions of the human nature will be described as followed. These stages are divided into four main dimensions:

personality theory

social (environmental) theory

action theory

type of thinking

(Table 1, Levels of the concept of human nature).

The five stages plus a new one (III c) for the campesinos/as, living in the Andes of Peru: (Oerter, R., 1995)

Stage I:

Human beings are conceived as actors characterized by overt actions (driving a car, sewing, cooking, working) and material and social possessions (owning a house, having a wife and children). Actions are not clearly differentiated into goal, means, and end.

Stage II:

Humans are seen as owners of psychological traits. Psychological concepts are conceptualized as dispositions explaining the stability of behavior across time and situations. Social partners have an instrumental function, they are necessary as a means for reaching a goal just as the subject him/herself is instrumental for others (instrumental exchange). The action theory at Stage II becomes differentiated into the sequence goal - means - end. The subject realizes, that psychological costs may have to be invested in order of further development.

Stage III a:

The autonomous identity forms the core of covert psychological entities, and organizes them for a meaningful life-style. This identity is attributed to all persons, and therefore everybody has the right to choose his/her own way and to build a different value system. Relativistic thinking in this stage allows to justify the existence of contradicting value systems and life-styles. The action theory is expanded by considering the consequences of actions and feeling responsible for them. If there were made decisions (i. e. having a family), social obligations will take place. That means, the individual search for aims himself and is able to reach them. The individuals future decisions will be determined by the surrounding criteria’s in the actual situation. To fulfil the role people chose (i. e. as a mother), they must take over social responsibility.

Stage III b:

Human beings are conceived as mutual (reciprocal) identities. Identity is defined by mutual relations. Subjects realize that their attitudes in regard to values and life-styles may change, and that inner conflicts are normal and necessary. This experience of inner contradictions is accompanied by a new way of thinking: dialectic thinking. But at this stage, dialectic thinking deals only with subjective conflicts and contradictions occurring as psychological events within the subject. Action theory takes into account consequences of one’s own actions for others, in small systems like family, school, and place of work. There is always a need for the individual to have a balance. On the one hand to balance your own contradictions, on the other to be in balance with your environment. Therefore your action influence always others. After you made a decision there is again the inner conflict, but it is not placed into the foreground of the reflection. They try to be able to act, even if there are contradictions, and they integrate them. Common responsibility means common decisions.

Stage III c:

There was a need to create the stage III c, because of the ‘collective‘ identity from the campesinos/as, living in the Andes near Cusco, Peru. It combines the conception of the human being from the level of structure in stage III a and stage III b. The characteristics are: they have no dialectical connections (they don’t work on their conflicts dialectically or are aware of them), no elaboration of the variety from ego and age, in the autonomous identity other members of the family are always included, that is why III c is seen as a collective identity. On the other hand the person is responsible for his/her action and has a clear self concept, which we can find in stage III a.

Stage IV:

The individual is perceived within the polarity of culture or society as well as an autonomous self. The subject is confronted with the contradiction of ego-identity and role-identity, and of conflicting demands of the surrounding culture. Humans become elements of the entire global system, namely society, and also are exchangeable. Objective dialectic thinking becomes necessary in this process of understanding societal influences. Contradictions and incompatibilities exist within the society and, only as a consequence, also within the individual. They take over social responsibility for the whole society as well as for future generations. This means reflection about the objective conflict and the problem of the own action capability; recognition of the action importance from the individual for the society although you can not value the effect; the understanding that changes in the social system are possible with common actions.

5. Theoretical explanation to the interview

‘...the interview is initiated for a purpose extrinsic to the interaction and to the verbal exchange’ (Lopez, 1965). The interview is a form of methodological discourse, divided in three aspects:

- information giving and obtaining
- problem-solving
- decision-making.

Because there is a similarity with the method and the daily conversation practice, one can have particular difficulties by taking lessons with appropriate interview techniques. Therefore, special training, as mentioned, is demanded and important for the interviewer. On the other side this similarity creates, in comparison to ‘questionnaires’, a particular diagnostic situation, which is not a task between examiner and examinee. It is a direct meeting, a discussion in an actionable way with the medium ‘conversation’. Furthermore, for this work ‘questionnaires’ would not be the appropriate method for getting an idea about the concept of the human nature. With questionnaires, the interviewer will not stimulate the subject to produce the highest possible structure of the concept of human nature like with the interview technique. Furthermore using questionnaires were not possible in the case of the campesinos/as, most of them are illiterates. As it took a lot of time, getting the interviews by tape recorder, it would have taken much more time, to explain the questionnaires and answer them.

The interviewee had to answer questions in a semi-structured interview about adults. In the context there were questions, how an adult should be (ideal person), how is he/she in reality (real person), how to define responsibility, about the three main roles in adulthood (career, family, political role), about happiness and sense of live, and about the self development in the last two or three years. The interviewer used special question techniques to investigate the arguments and specific constructions of the answers from the interviewee. This included comprehension questions like “Could you describe this part more detailed?” and “Why-questions”.

6. Culture and the self

There were investigations in the Asian and Western countries about the self concept (Germany, United States, Slovenia, Croatia, Corea, Indonesia, Japan and China), which showed both: universality and cultural specifications. Universality means formal- (developmental)-logical levels of structure which consists of the five self concept stages.

In general sense of culture we distinguish between collectivistic-individualistic. Asian people had these both orientations, while western people are more individualistic oriented. Moreover such combinations were found in different stages of the self concept.

In each culture, in addition to universal characteristics, there exist conceptualizations of human nature that comprise culture-specific components. These components stem from the cultural knowledge that is acquired by the individual through the process of enculturation. Enculturation includes all of the learning that occurs in human life, because of what is available to be learned (for example, what is music, and what is noise; what is worth fighting for). It is learning by observation, any part of the content of our society – content that has been culturally shaped and limited during proceeding generations, and what the culture deems necessary. You can find enculturation at all time and everywhere, as well with indirect and direct transmission of values. The theoretical line of different universal constructive levels, which are developmental in nature, and the theoretical view of two different selves (or identities) dependent on collectivistic versus individualistic cultures may be combined to produce a theoretically more satisfying system.

6.1 Integrative model of universal stages and culture-specific patterns by Oerter:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

In both, individualistic and collectivistic cultures, there is a development of levels of conceptualization of human nature with increasing complexity and depth of structures. This range from the simple construction of human beings as actors (stage I) to the construal of human beings as a societal identity, which comprises all lower forms of identity (stage IV). This development is assumed to be universal, because of cognitive processes and of basic experiences common to the human species (vertical line). At the same time, culture shapes the individual’s constructions from the very beginning. In collectivistic cultures we expect to find concepts of human nature that are oriented more towards an interdependent self, in individualistic cultures we expect concepts of human nature that describe human beings predominantly as independent selves (horizontal line).

6.2 The self – an independent view (‘western view’) by Markus & Kitayama (1991)

The independent view is exemplified in American and Western Europe culture. It constructs oneself as an individual whose behavior is organized by one’s own internal repertoire of thoughts, feelings and action rather than by them of others. Characteristics are individualistic, egocentric, separate, autonomous.

Responsive to: social environment

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

X: representations of the Self in relation to others

x: representations of the Self independent, various aspects of Self

The self- an interdependent view (‘asian view’)

It is found in Asian, Latin-American, Southern-Europe and Russian cultures. Oneself is seeing as part of an encompassing social relationship and recognizing that one’s behavior is determined to a large extend by what the actor perceives to be the thoughts, feelings and actions of others in the relationship. Characteristics are sociocentric, collective, relational.


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How to define the structure of relationship and action in the concept of human being in Germany and Peru - a cross-cultural study
LMU Munich  (Pedagogics Psychology and Developement Psychology)
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Petra Ursula Decker (Author), 1999, How to define the structure of relationship and action in the concept of human being in Germany and Peru - a cross-cultural study, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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