Facets of the fundamental content dimensions: Agency with competence and assertiveness-communion with warmth and morality

Andrea E. Abele*, Nicole Hauke, Kim Peters, Eva Louvet, Aleksandra Szymkow, Yanping DUAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agency (A) and communion (C) are fundamental content dimensions. We propose a facet-model that differentiates A into assertiveness (AA) and competence (AC) and C into warmth (CW) and morality (CM). We tested the model in a cross-cultural study by comparing data from Asia, Australia, Europe, and the USA (overall N = 1.808). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported our model. Both the two-factor model and the four-factor model showed good fit indices across countries. Participants answered additional measures intended to demonstrate the fruitfulness of distinguishing the facets. The findings support the model's construct validity by positioning the fundamental dimensions and their facets within a network of self-construal, values, impression management, and the Big Five personality factors: In all countries, A was related to independent self-construal and to agentic values, C was related to interdependent self-construal and to communal values. Regarding the facets, AA was always related to A values, but the association of AC with A values fell below our effect size criterion in four of the five countries. A (both AA and AC) was related to agentic impression management. However, C (both CW and CM) was neither related to communal nor to agentic impression management. Regarding the Big Five personality factors, A was related to emotional stability, to extraversion, and to conscientiousness. C was related to agreeableness and to extraversion. AA was more strongly related to emotional stability and extraversion than AC. CW was more strongly related to extraversion and agreeableness than CM. We could also show that self-esteem was more related to AA than AC; and that it was related to CM, but not to CW. Our research shows that (a) the fundamental dimensions of A and C are stable across cultures; and (b) that the here proposed distinction of facets of A and C is fruitful in analyzing self-perception. The here proposed measure, the AC-IN, may be a useful tool in this research area. Applications of the facet model in social perception research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1810
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychology(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Agency
  • Assertiveness
  • Communion
  • Competence
  • Cross-cultural research
  • Facet model
  • Morality
  • Warmth

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