University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School

Announcement

An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Ying Liu
M.Ed. in Elementary Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2007
B.A. in English Language and Literature, Central China Normal University, 2004


Investigating the Relation between Moral Self-Enhancement and Self-Deception:
A Cross-Cultural Study of U.S. and Chinese College Students

 

Abstract

Testing an evolutionary framework, this study examined moral self-enhancement in relation to self-deception and self-construal in a cross-cultural context. The participants included 127 U.S. students attending a university located in a Mid-western state and 107 Chinese students recruited from a university located in the central region of China. The results demonstrated that moral self-enhancement is not a characteristic unique to individualistic ideology but rather a universal motivation. Regardless of their cultural groups and self-construal, participants tended to morally self-enhance, rating their own character and sense of responsibility significantly higher than those of other people. In addition, U.S. participants were more likely to morally self-enhance compared to their Chinese counterparts. At an individual level, strong independents demonstrated greater moral self-enhancement than did their strong interdependent peers among the U.S. participants, whereas greater moral self-enhancement was observed in strong interdependents but not strong independents in the Chinese sample. As hypothesized, self-deception as measured by SDE stood out as a significant predictor of moral self-enhancement, supporting the evolutionary understanding that moral self-enhancement is an unconscious process intimately related to self-deception. Among Chinese participants, the association between moral self-enhancement and self-deception was found to be mediated through an inflated rating of others, which indicated a potential other-enhancement effect.


 

Date: November 12, 2012

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Place: E. Desmond Lee Technology and Learning Center

 

Defense of Dissertation Committee

 

Matthew Keefer, Ph.D. Ph.D.(Advisor)

Cody Ding, Ph.D.

 

Lisa Dorner, Ph.D.

Joe Polman, Ph.D.