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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Daoist/Taoist Altruism and Wateristic Personality: East and West

  • Author(s): Lee, Yueh-Ting
  • Norasakkunkit, Vinai
  • Liu, Li
  • Zhang, Jian-Xin
  • Zhou, Min-Jie
  • et al.

Based on the Daoist/Taoist model of water-like (or wateristic) personality features (Lee, 2003, 2004), four hypotheses were derived with a focus on altruism and modesty. A total of 122 Chinese college students and 106 American college students participated in this cross-cultural study. It was found (1) that American college students were more altruistic than Chinese counterparts; (2) that levels of modesty were more trait-specific than culture-specific; and (3) that Chinese participants were more altruistic and receptive toward outgroup members or outsiders (e.g., aliens) than American counterparts in uncertain situations. Theoretical implications are also discussed.

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