Is individualism-collectivism associated with self-control? Evidence from Chinese and U.S. samples

Jianbin LI, Alexander T. VAZSONYI, Kai DOU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Self-control plays an important role in human’s daily life. In the recent two decades, scholars have exerted tremendous effort to examine the etiologies of the individual differences in self-control. Among numerous predictors of self-control, the role of culture has been relatively overlooked. In this study, the influences of cultural orientation on self-control were examined based on the collectivism-individualism framework using both self-report and behavioral task to assess self-control. A convenience sample of 542 Chinese and 446 U.S. undergraduates participated in the research. They were invited to fill out self-report questionnaires reporting their levels of attitudinal self-control and individualistic-collectivistic orientation after completing a computer-based Stroop task. Results of hierarchical regression models showed that Chinese participants reported less attitudinal self-control but had higher behavioral self-control than their U.S. counterparts. Moreover, individual-level individualism and collectivism was negatively and positively related to attitudinal self-control in both countries, respectively. Individual-level collectivism was significantly related to better behavioral self-control, but no significant results were found for the relationship between individual-level individualism and behavioral self-control. In sum, individualism and collectivism have some influences on individual differences in self-control. Implications for future research were discussed. Copyright © 2018 Li et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208541
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2018



Li, J.-B., Vazsonyi, A. T., & Dou, K. (2018). Is individualism-collectivism associated with self-control? Evidence from Chinese and U.S. samples. PLoS One, 13(12). Retrieved from