Cross-Cultural Differences in Preference for Relationally Framed Decision Alternatives
Authors: Lelyn D. Sanera, Andrew Mathisb, Sergey Blokb, Sharon Glazerc, Ivica Pavisicc, Susannah Paletza
Abstract: Much research on cross-cultural psychology has focused on either culture-level dimensions or individual values as starting points for explaining the influence of culture on individual reasoning and decision-making. Culture is a complex concept, however, determined by the beliefs and behaviors of both individuals and of social systems. To understand how culture predicts the behavior of an individual in a situation requires lower-level descriptors of how individuals and groups interact in different contexts. We investigated the application of Relational Models Theory (Fiske, 1992) as a way both to describe social situations and to distinguish cultures by which relational models their members consider to be the most appropriate in different situations. We presented decision scenarios to participants from different cultural backgrounds through a survey and asked them to rate the appropriateness of several responses to each scenario that were oriented toward different relational models. We observed significant interactions between cultural background, scenario, and the ratings given to options associated with each relational model. We concluded that relational models might provide a valuable tool for understanding cultural differences in individual decision-making, but that the context of the situation itself also has a significant impact on the options people consider to be most appropriate for resolving situations.
Keywords: Relational Model, Decision Scenario, Situation, Domain
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