Jenny M. Tang

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


This research examined the theory of mental self-government and its various thinking styles. The theory of mental self-government (Sternberg, 1988a) has established its utility in verbal contexts including education, occupation, partner choices, and cross-culturally. The Associated Thinking Style Inventory (TSI; Sternberg & Wagner, 1991; 1992) has also demonstrated its reliability and validity in a Hong Kong population (Zhang, 1999; Zhang & Lcks, 1997; Zhang & Sternberg, 1998), but it has not been used with Chinese-Canadians. It was hypothesized that as Chinese individuals become more acculturated to the North American cultural system, their thinking styles approach European-American norms. This study found the a to be an internally consistent measure of thinking styles in a Chinese-Canadian population; ! median alpha reliability was .82. Observed intercorrelations between the various thinking variables were in the anticipated directions and three factors were found to account for 55% of the variance. Significant relationships were found between some thinking styles and socialization variables such as gender, age, amount of education, and years lived in North America. However : present data do not support the hypothesis that Chinese-Canadian acculturation was related to : theory of mental self-government. Although the TSI and Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity co-culturation Scale (SL-ASIA; Suinn, Rikard-Figueroa, Lew, & Vigil, 1987) were both reliable, here were no significant correlations between the two measures. The absence of a relationship 1etween the TSI and the SL-ASIA is understandable considering the complexity of these constructs; acculturation has been shown to be multi-faceted and there are numerous possibilities f thinking style profiles. In addition, individuals may diversify their thinking styles to better adapt to an environment, further complicating the matter. Perhaps the complexity of c0-culturation and thinking style profiles does not allow for simple categorization. However, this study was able to demonstrate that Chinese-Canadians think somewhat differently from two Hong Kong populations (Zhang, 1999; Zhang & Sacks, 1997). This sample of Chinese-Canadians preferred the legislative, executive, local, and liberal thinking styles over the Hong Kong samples.

Included in

Psychology Commons