FROM EAST TO WEST: DOES ENCULTURATION CHANGE HOW PEOPLE CONCEPTUALIZE EVENTS
Minds differ between East Asians and Westerners. According to an influential claim in Cultural Psychology, Westerners think more abstractly than East Asians. Contrary to this claim, however, our previous studies showed that Chinese individuals in China tended to construe events more abstractly than Caucasian individuals in the United States, as measured by a validated measure of abstract vs. concrete thinking called the Behavioral Identification Form (BIF; Vallacher & Wegner, 1989). Here we tested whether Chinese individuals who spend time in the United States construe events more concretely, like Westerners do. We administered the BIF to 198 Chinese participants attending US colleges. Chinese participants who have been living in the US construed events significantly more concretely than the Chinese individuals who were tested previously in China, and participants who had lived in the US for a longer time construed events more concretely than participants who had lived in the US for a shorter time. Although these data are correlational, they are consistent with an effect of Western enculturation on Eastern minds.
M.A., Human Development
Master of Arts
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
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