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Index
Team
- Prof. Dr. Jochen Gebauer
- Dr. Jennifer Eck
- M.Sc. Tobias Ebert
- M.Sc. Theresa Entringer
- Dipl.-Psych. Andreas Nehrlich
Projects
Publications
Measures
Psy.de (online-studies)
Contact
Welcome to the Heisenberg-Professorship for
Cross-Cultural Social and Personality Psychology,

We seek to examine comprehenseively the self-concept and we do so from the perspectives of social psychology and personality. Our research typically takes a cross-cultural approach in order to identify and illuminate the universal processes of the self-concept.

The project of our Emmy-Noether-Group "Self & Society" is a good example for our general scientific approach. In the Emmy-Noether-Project we examine the validity of our "Sociocultural Motives Perspective on Self and Personality" (Gebauer, Paulhus, & Neberich, 2013). This theory builds on the idea that high Agency (dominance, competence, drive) elicits the motive to swim against the sociocultural tide, whereas high Communion (helpfulness, trustworthiness, warmth) is thought to elicit the motive to swim with the sociocultural tide. In other words, high Agency will instigate the desire to be different from other people in one's sociocultural context, whereas high Communion will instigate the desire to be similar to those others.

The interplay of Agency and Communion with those sociocultural motives for uniqueness and similarity is important to understand where and why Agency and Communion predict people's thoughts, feelings, and behavior. An example can illustrate this best: Does high Agency and/or high Communion predict whether people are religious? According to the Sociocultural Motives Perspective, the answer to this question crucially hinges on whether the prevalent sociocultural context is rather religious or rather secular. In a religious sociocultural context high Agency should predict relatively low religiosity, because agentic people can satisfy their desire to swim against the sociocultural tide by being relatively low on religiosity when most others are relatively high on religiosity. Conversely, in a religious sociocultural context high Communion should predict relatively high religiosity, because communal people can satisfy their desire to swim with the sociocultural tide by being relatively high on religiosity when most others are relatively high on religiosity. To be more concrete, our theory for example predicts that in the rather religious US high Agency should predict relatively low religiosity, whereas high Communion should predict relatively high religiosity.

In a secular sociocultural context, however, the pattern of relations should be quite different. Specifically, in such a context high Agency should predict relatively high religiosity, because agentic people can satisfy their desire to swim against the sociocultural tide by being relatively high on religiosity when most others are relatively low on religiosity. Conversely, in a secular sociocultural context high Communion should predict relatively low religiosity, because communal people can satisfy their desire to swim with the sociocultural tide by being relatively low on religiosity when most others are relatively low on religiosity. To be more concrete, our theory for example predicts that in very secular Sweden high Agency should predict relatively high religiosity, whereas high Communion should predict relatively low religiosity. As it stands, four publications provide support for the Sociocultural Motives Perspective (Gebauer, Bleidorn, Gosling, Rentfrow, Potter, & Lamb, 2014; Gebauer, Leary, & Neberich, 2012; Gebauer, Paulhus, & Neberich, 2013; Gebauer, Sedikides, Lüdtke, & Neberich, 2014). At the most abstract level, the Sociocultural Motives Perspective illustrates the pivotal importance to integrate research on broad personality dimensions with research on the sociocultural context. The Emmy Noether Self & Society group seeks to contribute towards this integration.

-- Prof. Dr. Jochen Gebauer