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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Aug;85(2):332-47.

Measuring individual and cultural differences in implicit trait theories.

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  • 1Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-2136, USA.


A new measure of implicit theories or beliefs regarding the traitedness versus contextuality of behavior was developed and tested across cultures. In Studies 1 (N = 266) and 2 (N = 266), these implicit beliefs dimensions were reliably measured and replicated across U.S. college student samples and validity evidence was provided. In Study 3, their structure replicated well across an individualistic culture (the United States; N = 249) and a collectivistic culture (Mexico; N = 268). Implicit trait and contextual beliefs overlapped only modestly with implicit entity theory beliefs and were predicted by self-construals in ways that generally supported cultural psychology hypotheses. Implicit trait beliefs were fairly strongly endorsed in both cultures, suggesting that such beliefs may be universally held.

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