Models of the self: self-construals and gender

Psychol Bull. 1997 Jul;122(1):5-37. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.122.1.5.


The authors first describe individual differences in the structure of the self. In the independent self-construal, representations of others are separate from the self. In the interdependent self-construal, others are considered part of the self (H. Markus & S. Kitayama, 1991). In general, men in the United States are thought to construct and maintain an independent self-construal, whereas women are thought to construct and maintain an interdependent self-construal. The authors review the psychological literature to demonstrate that many gender differences in cognition, motivation, emotion, and social behavior may be explained in terms of men's and women's different self-construals. Recognition of the interdependent self-construal as a possible alternative conception of the self may stimulate new investigations into the ways the self influences a person's thinking, feeling, and behaving.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Individuality*
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Behavior