Managing two cultural identities : The malleability of bicultural identity integration as a function of induced global or local processing

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Aurelia Mok
  • Michael W. Morris

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-246
Journal / PublicationPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


Increasingly, individuals identify with two or more cultures. Prior research has found the degree to which individuals chronically integrate these identities (bicultural identity integration; BII) moderates responses to cultural cues: High BII individuals assimilate (adopting biases that are congruent with norms of the cued culture), whereas low BII individuals contrast (adopting biases that are incongruent with these norms). The authors propose BII can also be a psychological state and modulated by shifts in processing styles. In four experiments, the authors induced a global or local processing style using physical posture (Experiment 1) and cognitive manipulations (Experiments 2-4) and found that BII is enhanced in contexts facilitating a more global processing style (i.e., smiling, high-level construal, and similarity focus). The authors also found that contrastive responses to cultural cues are diminished when BII is situationally enhanced. Implications for research on processing style, identity integration, and performance in culture-based situations are discussed. © 2012 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

Research Area(s)

  • bicultural, identity integration, perception, priming, processing style

Citation Format(s)