AN INDIRECT SELF-ENHANCEMENT SYSTEM IN RELATIONSHIPS AMONG JAPANESE
Muramoto, Y., Okayama University, Japan
The present research focused on achievement attributions among Japanese and attempted to examine a mechanism of self-enhancement through others' eyes. In Study 1, Japanese respondents were asked to list their important success and failure experiences in life and to attribute these events to various internal and external factors. Results showed that Japanese tended to make self-effacing attributions for their successes and failures, which was consistent with previous research. At the same time, however, Study 1 also revealed that Japanese expected their parents, siblings, and close friends to make supportive "other-serving" attributions, i.e., internal attributions for their success and external attributions for their failure. In Study 2, other people around the respondents, such as their parents, siblings, friends, and acquaintances, were asked to make attributions for the respondents' success and failure. Results confirmed that their significant others tended to make supportive attributions for their success and failure. These results suggest that Japanese do not try to enhance or protect their self-esteem explicitly, but that they do so implicitly by using an indirect way. Individuals appear to maintain their own positive self-regard by mutual and reciprocal support with their ingroup members. A model of indirect self-enhancement system in relationships will be presented.