Personality and cultural predictors of the quiet ego: comparing Turkey and the United States

Akça, Ece
Although high self-esteem has been shown to strongly relate to numerous positive psychological outcomes, previous research has shown that it is also linked with a defensive attitude and yields negative outcomes when the self is threatened by an external source. The concept of quiet ego, which is defined as a balanced integration of the self with others by turning down the volume of the ego, has been coined as a plausible alterative that can mitigate the potential negative effects of fragile high self-esteem. Considering that both cultural differences and personality characteristics have an impact on the conceptualization of the self, quiet ego, and its predictors are expected to vary across cultures. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is two-fold. First is to examine the psychometric properties of The Quiet Ego Scale in Turkish culture and the second is to investigate cultural similarities and differences between Turkey and the USA on quiet ego, its personality and cultural correlates (predictors). The current study was conducted with 248 Turkish and 690 American university students. In addition to the Quiet Ego Scale, participants completed the measures of self-esteem, Big-Five personality traits, individualism and collectivism, affect, life satisfaction, happiness, empathy, identification with people and nature, mindfulness, well-being, self-compassion. Factor analyses on the items of the Quite Ego Scale supported its construct validity consistent with its theoretical base among Turkish participants. Gender differences were found on the majority of the main variables. Cultural differences were identified on quiet ego, as well as on compassion, interdependence and mindfulness dimensions of quiet ego. As expected, the quiet ego was positively associated with the indicators of the well-being and certain personality traits. Among the personality characteristics, openness to experience was the strongest predictor of quiet ego in both cultures. Moreover, whereas agreeableness, extraversion and conscientiousness predicted quiet ego in the US, neuroticism predicted quiet ego strongly in Turkey. Culture was thereby found to moderate the effects of personality traits. For instance, on low levels of neuroticism, Turkish participants scored higher than their American counterparts on quiet ego and this pattern was reversed for high levels of neuroticism. Results were discussed considering the implications of cultural differences and limitations of the study.
Citation Formats
E. Akça, “Personality and cultural predictors of the quiet ego: comparing Turkey and the United States,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.