We presented 174 American and 169 Japanese subjects with scenarios in which an actor unintentionally harmed someone. We asked them to rate the likelihood of each of 6 different account tactics and 3 motives of account making. Collectivists (Japanese) were found, compared with individualists (Americans), to show more preference for the mitigating accounts, such as apologies or excuses, but less the assertive accounts, such as justifications. The collectivists' mitigating style became distinguished, particularly when the participants were in-group members; and also gender differences were larger among collectivists than among individualists. Harm severity was an independent and powerful determinant of account choice: The causal analysis of the motives revealed that each account tactic was uniquely motivated, and that its supposed motivational process was quite similar between the two cultural groups.
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Social Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996 May 16|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology