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Toward a better understanding of self-construal theory: an agency view of the processes of self-construal

Voyer, Benjamin G. and Franks, Bradley (2014) Toward a better understanding of self-construal theory: an agency view of the processes of self-construal. Review of General Psychology, 18 (2). pp. 101-114. ISSN 1089-2680

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Identification Number: 10.1037/gpr0000003


This article offers a novel perspective on self-construal theory. Self-construal concerns how individuals understand who they are in relation to the broad set of cultural influences in which they live. We look at the nature and antecedents of self-construal, and characterize it as a self-process, rather than self-knowledge. Integrating work from the literature on social and evolutionary psychology, and philosophy, we suggest that the differences between independent and interdependent self-construal are best understood from a self-agency perspective. This concerns how people assess whether they are the causes of an action and, if so, whether their causal role depends on other people. We introduce and discuss the roles of 3 different modalities of agency involved in self-agency assessment: implicit (sensorimotor), intermediate (self-related affordances), and explicit (reflective) self-agency. We offer a conceptual model on how self-agency relates to power, evolutionary motivations and to social and cultural affordances, in the formation of, and interaction with, different types of dominant independent and interdependent self-construals.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 American Psychological Association
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2014 14:18
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:19

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