Culture, identity consistency, and subjective well-being

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

428 Citations (Scopus)


All individuals have multiple views of themselves. Whereas the consistency among the different aspects of identity is emphasized in Western cultures, the "multiple selves" are often viewed as coexisting realities in East Asian cultures. This research revisits the classic thesis in psychology that identity consistency is a prerequisite condition of psychological well-being. Between individuals (Study 1), people with a more consistent self-view had a more clear self-knowledge, were more assertive, and, most notably, had self-experiences that were less affected by the perspectives of others. Compared with North American participants (Study 2), Koreans viewed themselves more flexibly across situations, and their subjective well-being was less predictable from levels of identity consistency. Also, consistent individuals received positive social evaluations from others in the United States but not in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-1391
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Culture, identity consistency, and subjective well-being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this