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Differences between Western and Eastern Cultures

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Jenna Poinan

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of Differences between Western and Eastern Cultures

Value of Working
- Japanese people remain in the work force longer
- Japanese culture emphasized remaining economically productive throughout one's lifetime
- men should remain productive as long as possible
- more cultural acceptance for early retirement in the U.S. even when people are in good health and fully capable of work
- easier for Americans to construct a positive
identity around leisure activities
Cultural Differences in Western and Eastern Cultures
Morgan Culhane, Jenna Poinan, Mikelle Cala and Ashley Iuvino
General Differences
- Individualism vs. Collectivism
- Western: individualistic
- value self-confidence
- people more likely to perceive themselves as competent
- high individualism
-low uncertainty avoidance
- Eastern: collectivism
-self-perceived competence in academics is lower
-scored higher in neuroticism and openness to experience
-scored lower for extraversion and conscientiousness
- high uncertainty avoidance
-study included East Asians and Westerners
- Both groups took a test and were asked to later
evaluate how they did
-72% of East Asians judged themselves as below school average
-When they were given an incentive to grade themselves accurately, 69% of them graded themselves above
- Shows that East Asians knew they did well on the
test but were acting modest
- 52% of Americans judged themselves as above
average without incentives

Differences between Western and Eastern Cultures
Western/ individualistic cultures
-Adults have focused attention and focus more on the centrally relevant object.
-Less affected by surrounding context
Eastern/ Collectivist Cultures
-Adults show broader, less focused attention and are more influenced by context because their attention is distributed.
These differences have an effect on how perceptual judgment tasks are completed.
- Tasks include: rod-and-frame task, picture descriptions, and face judgments.
Emotions Judgments

Western Cultures:
- characterized as emphasizing the independence of the individual.
- fixed , not context-dependent behavioral patterns

Eastern Cultures:
- characterized as emphasizing interdependence and social relations
- they contextualize interpretations of behavior
Example of these findings:
- In a western culture, if John is happy at a birthday event, this may represent his happy-go-luck personality and be a future indicator for his emotional state.
- In an eastern culture, if John is happy it is more specific to the context, and not a predictor of future personality.
Participants from both western and eastern cultures have to judge the emotions of a target person with other people surrounding.
- if the target person was surrounded by happy people a japanese participant would say the target person is happier then whether they were surrounded by sad people.
- Cultures are more or less inclusive of surrounding context
Current Study:
-experimenter shows picture of a target person and then another
card with a different picture, for example cake.
-The japanese child will attribute the happiness of a girl on one card to the cake on the other card.
-The U.S children will be less likely to incorporate the cake in their judgments.
Shame, Guilt, Blaming and Anger
Portrayal of Women
Study assessed how women are portrayed in two different cultures using magazine advertisements

Media plays a role in development of self-image

American Ads- Associated with determination, independence, and defiance

Japanese Ads- Associated with happiness,playfulness, and girlishness

Emotional Display
Cross-cultural study of public display of emotion showed:
Japanese display happiness more than Americans
Japanese display feelings of anger and disgust less than Americans
Collectivist vs. individualistic cultures
Anger is less acceptable in
collectivist cultures- threatens authority
and harmony within relationships.
Individualistic cultures- anger is considered functional and is tolerated in the interest of self- assertion and protecting individual rights and -freedom

Premarital Sex
in Japan
-Japanese students were less permissive than American students in their sexual standards.

-Japan has been traditionally a sexually restrictive society.

-Sexuality in Japan has been described as "minimized" or regulated.

-University entrance examination in Japan is a controlling factor of sexual activity for Japanese youth and high school students.

-There is more sexual freedom once Japanese people reach college.

Modesty 2
Premarital Sex in the U.S.
Family Conflict
A study on the topics that caused conflict between parents and children was very interesting
American young adults reported more conflict over socializing behaviors such as friendships and dating
Japanese young adults reported more conflict about education and life decisions
23% of Japanese participants did not report conflict
-There are fundamental differences in the management of stress and what constitutes as a stressor between the two cultures.

Although there are cultural differences, many cultural practices remain the same.

Some cultures emphasize the importance of some aspects more than others, but these aspects are still universal.
-New York State was the most permissive of the five English-speaking countries studied.

-U.S. men are more sexually permissive than U.S. women

-U.S. men considered sexual intercourse more acceptable for men in early dating stages.

-Most young adults in the U.S. were somewhat permissive of premarital sex depending on the relationship stage. Not very accepting of casual dating or first date.

-Japanese children are more prone to experiencing shame and guilt and less likely to externalize anger.
- Japanese children exhibit less aggression towards others and less bullying.
- shame plays a critical role in motivating social conformity, interdependence, social harmony and respect for social harmony.
- Being viewed as unfavorable by an important other casts shame not only upon one's self but also on one's family and peer group.
- students are more prone to experiencing shame and guilt but they experience these emotions and others less intensely and for a shorter period of time.
- socialization of these emotions happen both at home and in school; these emotions receive a much greater emphasis in parenting practices and in the classroom.
- Japanese children have a greater sense of responsibility for their behavior.
Shame, guilt, blaming and anger
- Shame has a greater effect on anger among american children
- American adults are more prone to externalize blame as well as American children.
- shame transfers into blaming others and showing anger towards other; this transformation is culturally scripted and occurs more in American culture.
- Found that children prone to shame are more likely to both externalize blame and experience anger.
-tendency to perceive oneself in a
positive light is not as commonly observed
in East Asian Cultures
- attribute differences to the differential nature of self construal
- East Asians do not want to see themselves as superior because they want to be similar to
people around them
-in a collectivist society in which exclusion is
very costly, avoiding the risk of offending
others is socially wise
17:30- 20:00
Stress in Western
-Emphasis on individualism.

-Sharing of one's problems and worries with others is not easy.

-Conflicts of identity can lead to severe stress or an identity crisis.

-Each individual is held responsible for his or her own problems.

-Violating another person's physical and psychological space lead to stress.

-Invasion of privacy leads to stress.

Stress in Eastern

-When a problem affects an individual it affects the entire family.

-The pressure to conform to family norms and expectations can cause acute stress sometimes leading to psychotic disorders and hysteria.

-Personal choice is virtually non existent in a communistic society.

-Stress is not seen as a major problem in itself that requires the attention of experts.

-Stress is explained in terms of sorcery, bewitchment and evil spirits.

Ways to deal with conflict
Distributive strategy- Characterized by aggressive and confrontational engagement. Insistent and demanding of one's position
Avoidance strategy- Characterized by passive and indirect behaviors. Avoidance and submission
American Advertisement
Portrays individualistic values of autonomy
Japanese Advertisement
Portrays collectivist culture that values positive display of emotion and harmony
Ways to deal with conflict
Japanese young adults-Used distributive
American young adults-Used avoidance
These results are inconsistent with individualism vs. collectivism predictions
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