Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Are there any cultural differences in the communication of stereotype relevant information? Hall (1951) suggested that people from different cultures may exhibit different communicative styles, so that people from individualistic cultures may stress the transmission of direct, accurate and unambiguous information, whereas people from collectivistic cultures, which emphasize harmonious relationships, may stress the transmission of implicitly shared information. Past research has shown that communicators with a motivation to be accurate will communicate more stereotype-inconsistent (SI) information (Ruscher & Duval, 1998), and communicators with a motivation to establish social bonds will communicate more stereotype-consistent (SC) information (Clark & Kashima, 2005). Therefore, we expected that accuracy-motivated Westerners would communicate more SI information, while relational motivated Easterners would communicate more SC information. In the current studies, Australians of European and Asian origin were asked to reproduce a story about a fictitious individual who performed SC and SI behaviors. Consistent with the predictions, European-Australians reproduced more SI information, and Asian-Australians reproduced more SC information (Study 1). This effect was more robust when participants were allowed to interact with their communication partner before doing the reproduction task (Study 2). When participants were explicitly instructed to communicate as accurately as possible (Study 3) or to communicate so as to establish a good relationship with their partner (Study 4), the cultural differences in communication disappeared. This suggests that implicit motivational differences (i.e., to be accurate for European-Australians and to establish bonding for Asian-Australians) are responsible for the cultural differences.
The same paper is also presented at
the 1st International Workshop, Global Center of Excellence Program, Center for the Sociality of Mind, Department of Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, Japan, 18th October 2007,
the Social Action Lab Meeting, Department of Psychology, University of Melbourne, Australia, 2007, and
the Social-Personality Colloquium, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States, 2007.
Yeung, W. L. V., & Kashima, Y. (2007, January). Culture and stereotype communication: Are there cultural differences in stereotype communication? Poster presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Memphis, United States.