Cross-Cultural Differences in the Refusal to Accept a Small Gift: The Differential Influence of Reciprocity Norms on Asians and North Americans
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AbstractAsians are more likely than North Americans to refuse a small gift that is offered to them by a casual acquaintance. Five experiments confirmed this difference and explored the reasons for its occurrence. Asians, who are inclined to think of themselves in relation to others, are more likely than North Americans to invoke a reciprocity norm in exchanging gifts with casual acquaintances, and they refuse a gift in order to avoid the feeling of indebtedness they would experience if they cannot reciprocate. North Americans, however, who are inclined to think of themselves independently of others, are more likely to base their acceptance of the gift on its attractiveness without considering their obligation to reciprocate. These cultural differences are not evident when the gift is offered by a close friend with whom individuals have a communal relationship. Implications of our findings for miscommunication between members of different cultures are discussed.
All Author(s) ListShen H, Wan F, Wyer RS
Journal nameJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Year2011
Month2
Day1
Volume Number100
Issue Number2
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Pages271 - 281
ISSN0022-3514
eISSN1939-1315
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsattribution; culture; social norm
Web of Science Subject CategoriesPsychology; Psychology, Social; PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIAL

Last updated on 2020-25-11 at 00:15