Oscillatory alpha power at rest reveals an independent self: A cross-cultural investigation

Brian Kraus, Cristina E. Salvador, Aya Kamikubo, Nai Ching Hsiao, Jon Fan Hu, Mayumi Karasawa, Shinobu Kitayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In the current cultural psychology literature, it is commonly assumed that the personal self is cognitively more salient for those with an independent (vs. interdependent) self-construal (SC). So far, however, this assumption remains largely untested. Here, we drew on evidence that resting state alpha power (RSAP) reflects mental processes constituting the personal self, and tested whether RSAP is positively correlated with independent (vs. interdependent) SC. Study 1 tested European Americans and Taiwanese, whereas Study 2 tested European Americans and Japanese (total N = 164). A meta-analysis performed on the combined data confirmed a reliable association between independent (vs. interdependent) SC and RSAP. However, this association was only reliable when participants had their eyes closed. Even though European Americans were consistently more independent than East Asians, RSAP was no greater for European Americans than for East Asians. Our data helps explore a missing link in the theorizing of contemporary cultural psychology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108118
JournalBiological Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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