The Influence of Power on U.S. and Chinese Individuals’ Judgments and Reasoning About Intrasocietal Conflicts
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AbstractThis study used a social domain theory framework to investigate Chinese and U.S. individuals’ evaluations of intrasocietal conflicts (defined as situations where some individuals’ rights clash with collective interests), and how those evaluations might be influenced by concepts of high versus low power. Undergraduate students in both the United States (n = 92) and China (n = 98) received either a high-power or a low-power prime and then evaluated (a) the acceptability of actions taken by different parties in hypothetical scenarios about intrasocietal conflicts, (b) moral and societal justifications for these actions, and (c) the appropriateness of actions by outside, third parties aimed at affirming individual rights. Results showed that moral justifications for individual actions were positively associated with pro-individual-rights judgments in both societies, regardless of power condition. In addition, U.S. individuals primed with high power and Chinese participants primed with low power showed lower support for third-party actions, based on societal concerns from the collective perspective. Chinese participants primed with high power also accepted collective actions based on moral and societal concerns. These results extend social domain theory by demonstrating how different power concepts affect the relative importance of moral versus societal concerns in individuals’ judgments, especially when evaluating third-party actions.
All Author(s) ListZhu N., Hawk S. T., Smetana J. G.
Journal nameJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume Number51
Issue Number1
PublisherSAGE Publications
Pages77 - 105
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordscollective interests, individual rights, power inequality, social domain theory, social judgment, cross-cultural comparison

Last updated on 2021-21-01 at 00:32