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Avoid or fight back? Cultural differences in responses to conflict and the role of collectivism, honor, and enemy perception

Gunsoy, Ceren, Cross, Susan E., Uskul, Ayse K., Adams, Glenn, Gercek-Swing, Berna (2015) Avoid or fight back? Cultural differences in responses to conflict and the role of collectivism, honor, and enemy perception. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46 . pp. 1081-1102. ISSN 0022-0221. (doi:10.1177/0022022115594252) (KAR id:49598)

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We investigated how responses to interpersonal conflict differed across Ghana, Turkey, and the northern US. Due to low levels of interpersonal embeddedness, people from individualistic cultures (northern US) have more freedom to prioritize individual goals and to choose competitive and confrontational responses to conflict compared to people from collectivistic cultures (Turkey, Ghana). Consistent with this idea, we found that northern American participants were less willing to avoid instigators but more willing to retaliate against them compared to other cultural groups. Moreover, in honor cultures like Turkey, there is strong concern for other people’s opinions, and insults are more threatening to personal and family reputation compared to non-honor cultures. Therefore, Turkish participants were less willing to engage in submissive behaviors such as yielding to the instigator. Finally, in Ghana, relationships are more obligatory and enemies are more prominent compared to other cultures. Consistent with our predictions, Ghanaian participants were less willing than Turkish or northern American participants to choose retaliation but more willing to yield to the instigator. Differences in response styles were consistent with dominant cultural values and the cultural nature of interpersonal relationships.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0022022115594252
Uncontrolled keywords: cultural psychology conflict management collectivism honor cultures enemies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Ayse Uskul
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2015 09:11 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2020 04:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Uskul, Ayse K.:
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