Information and communication technology and cultural change: How ICT changes self-construal and values

Nina Hansen*, Tom Postmes, Nikita Van Der Vinne, Wendy Van Thiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-231
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychology
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cultural change
  • Cultural values
  • Culture
  • Self-construal
  • Technology

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