How successful you have been in life depends on the response scale used: The role of cultural mindsets in pragmatic inferences drawn from question format

Uskul, Ayse K. and Oyserman, Daphna and Schwarz, Norbert and Lee, Spike W. and Xu, Alison Jing (2013) How successful you have been in life depends on the response scale used: The role of cultural mindsets in pragmatic inferences drawn from question format. Social Cognition, 31 (2). pp. 222-236. ISSN 0278-016X. (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/soco.2013.31.2.222

Abstract

To respond to a question, respondents must make culturally-relevant, context-sensitive pragmatic inferences about what the question means. Participants in a culture of modesty (China), a culture of honor (Turkey) and a culture of positivity (U.S.) rated their own (Study 1) or someone else’s (their parents or people their parents’ age, Study 2) success in life using either a rating scale that implied a continuum from failure to success (-5 to +5) or varying degrees of success (0 to 10). As predicted, culture and rating format interacted with rating target to influence response patterns. Americans, sensitive to the possibility of negativity, rated all targets more positively in the bipolar condition. Chinese were modesty-sensitive, ignoring the implications of the scale, unless rating strangers for whom modesty is irrelevant. Turks were honor-sensitive, rating themselves and their parents more positively in the bipolar scale condition and ignoring scale implications of rating strangers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Ayse Uskul
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2012 21:11
Last Modified: 02 May 2014 08:59
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/32461 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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