Cultural collectivism and distributive behavior

  • Leung K
  • Iwawaki S
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Leung and Bond (1984, Study 2) found that Chinese subjects tended to sacrifice their self-gain to benefit in-group members in allocating a group reward, whereas American subjects did not show this tendency. This Cultural difference was interpreted as consistent with a framework of cultural colllectivism. The present study provides a stricter test of their framework by comparing two different oriental groups with American subjects, and by measuring subjects' levels of collectivism directly. Japanese, Korean, and American subjects read a scenario in which an allocator worked with either and in-group or an out-group member. The allocator had either a low or a high input and used either the equity or equality norm to divide a group reward. Japanese and American subjects also responded to a collectivism scale. Results indicated that although the effects involving culture were not significant, and thus did not replicate the findings reported by Leung and Bond, the overall results were still consistent with their framework. Other effects replicated earlier findings, and collectivism was correlated with the tendency to use the equality norm. Possible explanations for results were discussed.

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  • Kwok Leung

  • Saburo Iwawaki

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