Cultural variation in implicit independence: An extension of Kitayama et al. ()

Jiyoung Park, Yukiko Uchida, Shinobu Kitayama
Published Online:
25 Feb 2015
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 51 Issue 4

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Previous research shows that European Americans are consistently more independent (or less interdependent) than Japanese when implicit indices are used to assess independence (vs. interdependence). The present work extended this evidence by including a novel implicit association test (IAT), as an index of implicit attitude towards independence and interdependence. Consistent with the previous findings, as compared to Japanese, Americans were significantly higher in multiple indices of implicit independence (vs. interdependence) including personal (vs. social) self‐definition, experience of disengaging (vs. engaging) emotions and personal (vs. social) form of happiness. Furthermore, as compared to Japanese, Americans had a significantly more positive implicit attitude towards independence assessed with the IAT. As also observed in the previous research, explicit measures showed inconsistent cross‐cultural patterns. Lastly, we observed little statistical within‐culture coherence among the implicit measures of independence (vs. interdependence), consistent with a view that the implicit indices capture alternative ways for individuals to achieve the cultural mandate of independence or interdependence.

© 2015 International Union of Psychological Science