Boundaries of Cultural Influence: Construct Activation as a Mechanism for Cultural Differences in Social Perception
Coauthor(s): Ying-Yi Hong, Veronica Benet-Martinez, Chi-Yue Chiu.
Cross-cultural studies usually compare the psychology of people from different countries and thus focus on how cultures influence people's psychology. In contrast, in 2000, Hong, Morris, Chiu, and Benet-Martinez demonstrated the dynamics of cultural influence within individuals who have been exposed extensively to two cultures (biculturals); they showed that exposing Chinese American biculturals to Chinese or American cultural icons activated the corresponding cultural (Chinese or American) knowledge systems, which, in turn, affected the biculturals' attributions (the cultural priming effects). This article further examines how applicability of activated cultural knowledge moderates the cultural priming effects. In two studies, the authors manipulated the individual versus group salience of an ambiguous social display and found that only when the individual versus group contrast was made salient was the group agency belief applicable and thus showed the cultural priming effects. As such, applicability sets the boundary condition for the dynamic construction of meaning under cultural influence.
Source: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Hong, Ying-Yi, Veronica Benet-Martinez, Chi-Yue Chiu, and Michael Morris. "Boundaries of Cultural Influence: Construct Activation as a Mechanism for Cultural Differences in Social Perception." Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 34, no. 4 (July 1, 2003): 453-64.