The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study found that even though children from all East Asian countries outperformed American children, American students reported higher self-evaluation of their math and science abilities than did students from East Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan (Mullis, Martin, Gonzalez, & Chrostowski, 2004). Such cross-cultural differences in self-appraisal ﬁt the stereotype of the modest East Asian and contribute to the received view that East Asians have less positive self-concepts than Americans. This view (...) was summarized recently by Heine, Lehman, Markus, and Kitayama (1999) as follows: ‘‘The need for positive self-regard, as it is currently conceptualized, is not a universal, but rather is rooted in significant aspects of North American culture’’ (p. 766; but cf. Sedikides, Gaertner, & Vevea. (shrink)
We dispute Henrich et al.'s analysis of cultural differences at the level of a narrow behavioral-expression for assessing a universalist argument. When Researchers Overlook uNderlying Genotypes (WRONG), they fail to detect universal processes that generate observed differences in expression. We reify this position with our own cross-cultural research on self-enhancement and self-esteem.