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Abstract

The authors argue that cultures differ in implicit theories of individuals and groups. North Americans conceive of individual persons as free agents, whereas East Asians conceptualize them as constrained and as less agentic than social collectives. Hence, East Asian perceivers were expected to be more likely than North Americans to focus on and attribute causality to dispositions of collectives. In Study 1 newspaper articles about "rogue trader" scandals were analyzed, and it was found that U.S. papers made more mention of the individual trader involved, whereas Japanese papers referred more to the organization. Study 2 replicated this pattern among U.S. and Hong Kong participants who responded to a vignette about a maladjusted team member. Study 3 revealed the same pattern with respect to individual and group dispositionism using a different design that compared attributions for an act performed by an individual in one condition and by a group in the other condition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... However, recent evidence from cultural psychology has suggested that the primacy of individual agency is not a universally held assumption (Kashima et al., 2005;Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Groups are conceptualised as agentic actors in other cultures, such as the Chinese culture (Menon et al., 1999). As the construal of agency may influence people's intentionality and causal attribution (Z. ...
... As the construal of agency may influence people's intentionality and causal attribution (Z. Liu et al., 2017;Menon et al., 1999), which is central to punishment behaviour (Alicke, 2000;Malle et al., 2014), the present study explores whether people in the Chinese culture, with its chief beliefs in group agency, also punish groups less harshly than individuals. ...
... An agentic actor can be an individual, a collective such as groups, or a nonhuman actor, including deities or fate (Morris et al., 2001). The construal of agency, therefore, refers to the conceptions of what kinds of actors behave intentionally and autonomously (Menon et al., 1999;Morris et al., 2001). ...
Article
Various transgressions and crimes can be accomplished by individuals, but are also committed by groups. A similar transgression may have varying punishment intensities for individuals and groups, and this difference may also vary between the American and Chinese cultures. Using a questionnaire on bribery scenarios, two studies were carried out to examine the differences in punishment intensities for individuals and groups in the aforementioned two cultures. Results confirm that punishment intensities on individuals are harsher than those on groups in the American culture. In contrast, punishment intensities on individuals and groups are equally harsh in the Chinese culture. Further evidence indicates that the underlying mechanism can be attributed to the construal of agency, which mediates the moderating effect of cultural group (American vs. Chinese) on the relationship between transgression type (group vs. individual) and punishment intensity. Findings provide an in‐depth understanding of the cultural differences in the punishment of individuals and groups and their underlying mechanisms.
... Perhaps one way forward is to take a page from organizations that operate in lower mobility cultures, where cheater-detection strategies are more closely attuned to those that likely existed in ancestral environments. For example, corporations in Japan tend to hold groups rather than individuals responsible for mistakes (Menon et al., 1999), and also expect leaders to take the blame for errors made throughout their organizations (Zemba et al., 2006). Such accountability lowers the incentives for individuals to benefit in ways that harm the collective. ...
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Biological differences between men and women mandate that women’s obligatory investment in reproduction is significantly greater than that of men. As a result, women have evolved to be the “choosier” of the two sexes and men have evolved to compete for female choice. To the degree that overconfidence is an effective tool for attracting mates and driving away competitors, greater competition among men suggests that they should express more overconfidence than women. Thus, sexual selection may be the primary reason why overconfidence is typically more pronounced in men than it is in women. Sexual selection may also be a distal, causal factor in what we describe as a cult of overconfidence pervading modern organizations and institutions. Whereas overconfidence was once regulated and constrained by features of ancestral life, levels of social mobility and accountability in contemporary society and modern organizations make it increasingly difficult to keep this gendered bias in check.
... However, considering that BGD is regarded as a lay theory, it is worth noting that such theories often exhibit cultural differences (Andreychik & Gill, 2014). For example, people from Asia are more likely to see dispositions residing within groups, whereas Westerners tend to see dispositions as residing in individuals (Menon et al., 1999). When it comes to genetic determinism in general and the measurement of overattribution in particular, we could not find any prior crosscultural studies, reinforcing the contribution of the present study. ...
Chapter
Belief in genetic determinism (BGD) may be defined as ascribing more causal power to genes in the formation of traits than available scientific knowledge suggests (i.e., genetic overattribution). BGD is an educational challenge because it is both at odds with scientific knowledge and connected to a number of societal challenges. It remains unclear how widespread BGD is around the world and whether it is expressed in the same way for different trait types. This chapter (i) examines whether BGD is a general problem by investigating genetic overattribution in three different countries (Brazil, Sweden, United States), and (ii) investigates whether such beliefs generalize across different kinds of traits. We address these aims using the “Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Genetics and Genomics” instrument. We analyze genetic overattribution for 14 traits. In general, similar patterns were documented across the three countries: almost no respondents endorsed genetic overattribution for 9 of the traits, whereas 5 traits—breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, interest in fashion, political beliefs, and religious beliefs—had higher percentages of responses suggestive of BGD. These findings imply that BGD may not be a general reasoning pattern; rather, it may be restricted to particular traits. Implications for genetics teaching are discussed.
... The knowledge structures most relevant to these judgments are beliefs about causal relationships in the form of general theories or specific expectancies. Substantial evidence suggests Americans are more likely than East Asians to attribute negative behavior by other persons to corresponding personality dispositions because of an implicit theory that individuals control their behavioral outcomes (Morris & Peng, 1994;Menon, Morris, Chiu & Hong, 1999). The potential for this to create cultural differences in negotiation style is clear, given that conflicts evoke negatively-valenced behaviors, such as disagreement. ...
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Psychologists have taken several approaches to modeling how culture influences the ways individuals negotiate interpersonal conflict. Most common has been the approach of searching for cultural traits-general, stable value-orientations that predict a variety of culturally typical conflict resolution behaviors. Increasingly researchers have adopted a constructivist approach of locating the nexus of cultural influence in the knowledge structures that guide negotiators' judgments and decisions. In this paper, we advocate extending the constructivist approach by incorporating principles from social cognition research on knowledge activation. We develop dynamic constructivist hypotheses about how the influence of culture on negotiation is moderated by the stimulus or task that the conflict presents, the social context in which the negotiator is embedded, and the negotiator/perceiver's epistemic state.
... To address this gap in the literature we examined measurement invariance between American and Spanish cultures' holistic-analytic thinking. Spaniards are typically described as being a collectivistic culture, whereas Americans are described as being a more individualistic culture comparatively (e.g., Choi et al., 1999;López-Pérez et al., 2015;Triandis, 1995), and individualismcollectivism construct typically aligns with analytic-holistic thinking styles at the cultural level (Lim et al., 2011;Menon et al., 1999). Hence, one critical goal of the present research is to test the measurement invariance of the instrument between these cultures, one more typically analytic and the other one tending to be less analytic. ...
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Holistic-analytic thinking styles are tools that allow us to process information in different ways as well as serving as strategies that help us navigate the world in the various domains of life, such as making causal attributions or categorizing. The Analysis-Holism Scale (AHS) is a 24-item scale that was developed to examine systematic cognitive differences regarding holistic-analytic thinking style. However, its length could be a potential problem for studies where space and time are limited. The aim of the present research is to assess the psychometric properties of the AHS items in order to assemble two shortened versions. To this end, we considered the assessment of item content conducted by a panel of experts and also the conceptual model and the latent structure of the original measure, preserving its psychometric properties. Across five independent samples (N = 2,254), the full-length scale was shortened to assemble one brief version with 12 items (AHS-12) and another one with only 4 items (AHS-4). Their latent structures were examined conducting a series of confirmatory factor analyses, the measurement invariance of these instruments was assessed across two different cultures (America and Spanish) and validity was examined based on its relationship with other constructs and experimental tasks. The results showed that the latent structures of both shortened versions were stable in different samples, that were invariant across two different cultures, and presented adequate evidence of validity. Hence, the AHS-12 and the AHS-4 can allow researchers a brief and precise evaluation of cognitive styles in contexts where time is limited, with the AHS-12 being a better candidate for the short version of AHS compared to the AHS-4.
... In addition, in study 1, as we only measured participants' propensity to engage in internal attribution, one may argue that engaging in internal attribution does not automatically suggest that the individuals are not engaging in external attribution. Study 2 aimed to address this issue by measuring participants' Marketing Letters 1 3 tendency to engage in both internal and external attributions (e.g., Menon et al. 1999;Morris and Peng 1994). ...
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Deceptive advertising, or advertising that intends to mislead consumers by false claims or incomplete disclosure, is ubiquitous in the marketplace. Though prior research has shown that consumers generally view companies’ deceptive communication as unethical and react to it negatively, anecdotal evidence suggests that some consumers are more accepting of such misleading tactics than others. Delving deeper into this phenomenon, this research examines the role of self-construal on consumers’ responses toward deceptive advertising. Three studies provide converging evidence that interdependent (vs. independent) consumers are more tolerant of deceptive advertising, which is mediated by their attribution styles. Moreover, we further demonstrate the self-construal effect on lie acceptability decreases as the firm becomes smaller, when it is easier for consumers to pinpoint who should be responsible for the misconduct and thus are more likely to make internal attribution.
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