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The Effects of Culture and Friendship on Rewarding Honesty and Punishing Deception
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
  • Cynthia S. WANG, National University of Singapore
  • Angela K.-Y. LEUNG, Singapore Management University
  • Michelle Ya Hui SEE, National University of Singapore
  • Xiang Yu GAO, National University of Singapore
Publication Type
Journal Article
Publication Date
The present research explores whether the type of relationship one holds with deceptive or honest actors influences cross-cultural differences in reward and punishment. Research suggests that Americans reward honest actors more than they punish deceptive perpetrators, whereas East Asians reward and punish equally (Wang & Leung, 2010). Our research suggests that the type of relationship with the actor matters for East Asians, but not for Americans. East Asians exhibit favoritism toward their friends by rewarding more than punishing them, but reward and punish equally when the actors are strangers (Experiment 1 and 2); Americans reward more than they punish regardless of the type of relationship (Experiment 2). Furthermore, the findings were replicated when the proposed mechanism – social mobility – was manipulated within the same culture (Experiment 3). We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding how friends versus strangers are rewarded and punished in an increasingly relationally complex world.
  • Reward,
  • Punishment,
  • Honesty,
  • Deception,
  • Culture,
  • Social mobility
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
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Citation Information
Cynthia S. WANG, Angela K.-Y. LEUNG, Michelle Ya Hui SEE and Xiang Yu GAO. "The Effects of Culture and Friendship on Rewarding Honesty and Punishing Deception" Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Vol. 47 Iss. 6 (2011) p. 1295 - 1299 ISSN: 0022-1031
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