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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3WS8HR8T

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Culture and Decision: Cross-Cultural Similarities and Variations in Resource Allocation between European Canadians and East Asians Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Analytic-Holistic thinking styles
Cultural Variation
Decision Making
Resource Allocation
Culture
Cultural Similarity
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Li, Man Wai
Supervisor and department
Masuda, Takahiko (Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Hong, Ying-yi (Business)
Kabata, Kaori (East Asian Studies)
Masuda, Takahiko (Psychology)
Schimel, Jeff (Psychology)
Noels, Kim (Psychology)
Department
Department of Psychology
Specialization

Date accepted
2015-06-01T15:22:22Z
Graduation date
2015-11
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
People engage in a variety of decision making tasks in daily life, in which people’s experiences and strategies during the decision making tasks are affected by cultural influences. The primary objective of this dissertation was to examine the role of analytic versus holistic thinking styles on resource allocation across cultures. Analytic thinking style, which is more prevalent in North America, refers to a linear view about the world where objects’ properties remain stable due to the independent nature of the relationships among objects. In contrast, holistic thinking style, which is more prevalent in East Asia, refers to a non-linear view of how the world is organized in which people perceive change to be a constant phenomenon due to the complex interactions among elements in the universe (Nisbett, Peng, Choi & Norenzayan, 2001). I conducted three cross-cultural studies to understand this phenomenon. Study 1 tested the role of analytic versus holistic thinking styles on people’s resource allocation. Study 2 showed evidence that supported the causal link from cultural thinking styles to decision making experiences in resource allocation. Study 3 examined the role of context-sensitivity, which was found to be higher in East Asian societies than in North American societies, in resource allocation. In Study 1, Hong Kong Chinese, a representative group of holistic cultures, and European Canadians, a representative group of analytic cultures, completed a resource allocation task (i.e., fort game). The results showed that the allocation pattern of European Canadians was more concentrated than that of Hong Kong Chinese. In Study 2, thinking styles were manipulated in which Hong Kong Chinese and European Canadian participants were reminded of either holistic thinking style (by watching a movie showing an nonlinear trend) or analytic thinking style (by watching a movie showing a linear trend). Regardless of cultural backgrounds, the allocation pattern was more concentrated in the analytic condition than in the holistic condition. Finally, the role of context-sensitivity across cultures in resource allocation among Japanese, Hong Kong Chinese and European Canadian participants was examined in Study 3. The results showed that East Asians, especially the Japanese, were more likely to change their resource allocation in a manner consistent with experimental manipulation than European Canadians. Implications of these findings for research using experimental manipulation, cross-cultural research, and applied research are discussed.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3WS8HR8T
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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