The Concentric Circle Revisited: Allocentrism and Self in a Contemporary Chinese Community


Contemporary literature has extensively documented the connection between allocentrism and interdependence in self-construals. The present report comprises two studies that aimed to extend this literature by investigating the traditional Chinese concentric circle model of self-representation in a modern Asian community. Study 1 comprised a series of focus group discussions (N = 35, 4 males and 31 females, average age 20) to determine the qualitative content of self-construal. Participants reported a construct called the “true self”, with a content similar to the private self, and a number of social-selves varying along the perceived intimacy of the self-other relationship. In Study 2, 120 participants (all females, average age 19) were tested on their level of allocentrism and then allocated to an allocentric (top 25%, N = 30) and an idiocentric (bottom 25%; N = 30) group. Participants responded to the Twenty-Self Statement-Test (TST) on seven relationship scenarios with various levels of intimacy. Their responses were coded into collective/private/public self categories. Allocentrism and scenarios were found to have main and interactive effects on the proportions of self categories. The results were interpreted as supporting the graded nature of Chinese self-other relationships and a modified concentric circle self-representation in modern Asia.

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Chang, W. & Lee, L. (2012). The Concentric Circle Revisited: Allocentrism and Self in a Contemporary Chinese Community. Psychology, 3, 297-303. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.34042.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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