Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Heliyon

Publication Date

7-1-2019

Abstract

© 2019 The Authors Differences in self-concept have been observed across cultures. Participants from collectivist societies tend to describe themselves using social and relational attributes (mother, student, Arab) more frequently than their individualist counterparts, who tend to rely more heavily on personal attributes (fun, tall, beautiful). Much of this past research has relied on relatively small samples of college students, tasked with spontaneously reporting self-concepts in classroom settings. The present study re-examines these ideas using data extracted from Twitter, the popular social media platform. In analysis one, the Twitter biographies of individuals exclusively posting messages in English (N = 500) and those posting only in Arabic (N = 500) were content analyzed and quantified for differences in the frequency of personal versus social attribute use. Analysis two applied a bilingual word counting algorithm to the biographies of a larger sample of Twitter users (N = 242,162), exploring the relative frequency of social attributes, specifically familial roles (e.g. mother, father, daughter, son), across both English and Arabic users. In analysis one, the Twitter biographies of exclusive Arabic users contained significantly more social attributes than their English using counterparts. In analysis two, Arabic biographies contained significantly more familial references than their English language counterparts. These findings support the idea that cultural values may influence self-construal. Big data extracted from social media platforms appear to offer a useful means of exploring self-concept across cultures and languages.

ISSN

2405-8440

Publisher

Elsevier Ltd

Volume

5

Issue

7

First Page

e02087

Disciplines

Life Sciences

Keywords

Arabic, Culture, Psychology, Self concept, Social media, Twitter, UAE

Scopus ID

85069674047

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

yes

Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

Share

COinS