Two hypotheses concerning the relative importance of agentic versus communal traits as predictors of selfesteem were tested. The perspective hypothesis assumed that self-esteem is dominated by agency over communion because self-perceptions are formed from the agent (versus recipient) perspective. The culture hypothesis assumed that self-esteem is dominated by communal concerns in collectivistic cultures and by agentic concerns in individualistic cultures (echoed by individual differences in self-construal). Study 1 involving three samples from collectivistic countries and three from individualistic ones found that self-esteem was better predicted from self-ratings of agentic than communal traits, with the exception of collectivistic women for whom the two predictors were equal. Study 2 primed the interdependent or independent self and found self-ratings of agency to be better predictors of self-esteem than self-ratings of communion, with the exception of interdependence priming,where the two predictors were equal in strength.