1997 Volume 37 Issue 1 Pages 65-75
The present research aimed to demonstrate the coexistence of self-effacing and group-serving tendencies in attribution of success and failure in the Japanese culture. The following hypotheses were examined by two experiments: (1) Individuals within a group tend to make self-effacing attribution for their personal performance and group-serving attribution for performance of their group. (2) These tendencies appear more strongly when they express their attribution in the presence of ingroup members, because it reflects a selfpresentation strategy to gain one's positive public image.
The results of two experiments confirmed Hypothesis 1: The coexistence of self-effacing and group-serving tendencies was found. Both of these tendencies reflect an individual's motivation to support other members' esteem. At the same time, group-serving attribution could be understood as a way of indirect self-enhancement. On the other hand, the results provided mixed support for Hypothesis 2. These results, however, suggest that group-serving attribution is not a mere self-presentation strategy toward ingroup members, but a more deeply internalized tendency of the Japanese people.