This paper studies whether and how information and communication technology (ICT) changes self-construal and cultural values in a developing country. Ethiopian children were given laptops in the context of an ICT for development scheme. We compared children who used laptops (n = 69) with a control group without laptops (n = 76) and a second control group of children whose laptop had broken down (n = 24). Results confirmed that after 1 year of laptop usage, the children's self-concept had become more independent and children endorsed individualist values more strongly. Interestingly, the impact of laptop usage on cultural values was mediated by self-construal (moderated mediation). Importantly, modernization did not "crowd out" traditional culture: ICT usage was not associated with a reduction in traditional expressions (interdependent self-construal, collectivist values). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
- Cultural change
- Cultural values