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Human psychology varies importantly across cultures, however, considerations of this variation is often missing from evolutionary theories about the origins of psychological phenomena. To the extent that a psychological phenomenon is not universal, compelling evolutionary accounts need to be targeted at a level of analysis that is universal. An example of pronounced cultural variation in motivations for positive self-views is considered. Westerners tend to be more concerned about maintaining self-esteem, whereas East Asians tend to be more focused on maintaining face. Implications for understanding underlying motivations and evolutionary origins is discussed.

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