ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (3): 355-373.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00355

• Special Issue on “Psychological Characteristics and Behaviors of Chinese People in Response to Crisis and Challenges” •     Next Articles

Zhong-yong action self as a contributing factor to COVID-19 crisis management

YANG Chung Fang   

  1. Center for Personality and Social Psychological Studies, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2021-07-21 Published:2023-03-25 Online:2022-12-22

Abstract: This paper adopts an indigenous approach to explain why China can contain the COVID-19 Crisis swiftly and efficiently. For this purpose, it proposes a new conceptualization for studying the Chinese self—the Zhong- yong action self.
The action self refers to the self, activated by the situation an individual is facing, based on which the actor thinks about and decides the proper action to take. During the COVID-19 Crisis, beside the individuated self (the small self), many other more inclusive selves (the large selves), such as the family self, the community self, and the country self, are being mobilized at the same time, all of which demand the actor to exercise self-control and to help others to achieve the common goal—defeating the virus. This concerted effort thereby creates strength and flexibility in managing the crisis.
In every-day life situation, the many selves activated may demand conflicting actions from the actor. An adoption of the Zhong-yong deliberation process negotiate the most appropriate action, to help maintain inner peace and outer harmony with others and the flux environment. The author hopes that this new formulation will lead to new directions to the study of “the Chinese self.”

Key words: Chinese self, action self, Zhong-yong action self, conflicts among selves, zhong-yong coordination.