Viewing Your Kapwa: Elaboration of a Social-Relational Construct through Language

Keywords: Kapwa, Language, Relational construal, Psychometrics, Sikolohiyang Pilipino


Enriquez (1978) presented Kapwa as a core social psychological construct that could underpin Filipino social perception and interaction. However, issues arose regarding its conceptual and operational clarity as well as lack of empirical support. This two-phased study aims to address the issues presented through a psychometric approach. The first phase aimed to uncover construct characteristics by asking participants to provide definitions and examples of kapwa and di-kapwa, which were then examined via content analysis and the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) program. Results from this phase elicited four (4) themes indicating that people viewed their social other in terms of dispositional attribution, level of interaction, connection, and inclusion. The second phase utilized this data to develop a kapwa measure which was found to have three (3) dimensions: Relations with the Social Other, Perceived Negative Characteristics, and Difference from the Self. Initial reliability and validity tests were favorable. Implications on Filipino social perception and behaviors highlight that we view our social others in terms of the aforementioned three dimensions and how differentially we might treat them depending on whether they are perceived as kapwa or di-kapwa. Furthermore, the results of the study further elaborate and nuance kapwa, which adds to theorizing in Sikolohiyang Pilipino (SP).

How to Cite
Labor, P. D. P., & Gastardo-Conaco, M. C. C. (2021). Viewing Your Kapwa: Elaboration of a Social-Relational Construct through Language. Philippine Social Science Journal, 4(4), 10-19.