Michael Morris

Cultural conditioning: Understanding interpersonal accommodation in India and the United States in terms of the modal characteristics of interpersonal influence situations

Coauthor(s): N. V. R. Naidu, Satishchandra Kumar, Neha Berlia.

Abstract:

We argue that differences between the landscapes of influence situations in Indian and American societies induce Indians to accommodate to others more often than Americans. To investigate cultural differences in situation-scapes, we sampled interpersonal influence situations occurring in India and the United States from both the influencee's (Study 1) and the influencer's (Study 2) perspectives. We found that Indian influence situations were dramatically more likely than U.S. situations to feature other-serving motives and to result in positive consequences for the relationship. Yet Study 3 found that targets of influence felt no less free to decide whether to accommodate in India than the United States, but felt more concerned about the influencer. To investigate the effects of situation-scapes on people's expectations and decisions, we exposed Indian and American participants to descriptions of situations from both societies (with their origins obscured). Study 4 found that both groups of participants expected more positive consequences from accommodation in Indian situations than in American situations. Finally, Study 5 found that both groups decided to accommodate more often in Indian situations than in American situations. At the same time, Indian participants were more likely than Americans to accommodate across all situations, but both groups converged over 100 trials as they were exposed to more and more situations drawn from each other's cultures. We interpret these effects in terms of the default decisions or biases conditioned by people's recently encountered situations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Exact Citation:
Savani, Krishna, Michael Morris, N. V. R. Naidu, Satishchandra Kumar, and Neha Berlia. "Cultural conditioning: Understanding interpersonal accommodation in India and the United States in terms of the modal characteristics of interpersonal influence situations." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 100, no. 1 (2010): 84-102.
Volume: 100
Number: 1
Pages: 84-102
Date: 2010