Sheena Iyengar

“Independence from Whom? Interdependence with Whom? Cultural Perspectives on Ingroups Versus Outgroups”

Coauthor(s): Mark R. Lepper, Lee Ross.

Editors: Deborah A. Prentice and Dale T. Miller

Abstract:
Documents cultural differences in how individuals represent the social world. The authors' primary claim is that in European American cultural contexts the boundary between the self and another person (any other person) is primary, whereas in East Asian cultures the boundary between the ingroup (the self and other members of important groups) and the outgroup is primary. To test this claim, they adapted a number of research paradigms that have been used to demonstrate self-other differences among members of Western cultures and added a distinction between ingroup and outgroup others. For example, their 1st study was concerned with trait ascription. Previous research has shown that Westerners assign more traits to others than to self. The authors asked students of Caucasian and Asian descent to assign traits to self, an ingroup member, and an outgroup member. Results show that Caucasian students assigned fewer traits to self and ingroup members than to outgroup members. A similar pattern was shown for attributional charity (Asian students show charity to ingroup members as well as self) and for intrinsic motivation (Asian students are intrinsically motivated by ingroup member choices as well as their own).

Source: Cultural Divides: Understanding and Overcoming Group Conflict
Exact Citation:
Iyengar, Sheena, Mark R. Lepper, and Lee Ross. "Independence from Whom? Interdependence with Whom? Cultural Perspectives on Ingroups Versus Outgroups." In Cultural Divides: Understanding and Overcoming Group Conflict. Ed. Deborah A. Prentice and Dale T. Miller. New York: Russell Sage, 1999.
Place: New York
Date: 1999