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The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian CognitionContradiction, Change, and Holism$
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Julie Spencer-Rodgers and Kaiping Peng

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199348541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199348541.001.0001

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Entitativity Perceptions of Individuals and Groups across Cultures

Entitativity Perceptions of Individuals and Groups across Cultures

Chapter:
(p.335) Chapter 11 Entitativity Perceptions of Individuals and Groups across Cultures
Source:
The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian Cognition
Author(s):

Saori Tsukamoto

Yoshihisa Kashima

Nick Haslam

Elise Holland

Minoru Karasawa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199348541.003.0011

Cross-cultural differences in social perceptions pose an intriguing puzzle. East Asians, in contrast to Westerners, tend to have the view that individuals lack coherent and thematically consistent characteristics and, therefore, are likely to exhibit cross-situationally inconsistent actions and reactions. This tendency is explained in terms of naïve dialecticism. However, from a different domain of perception, East Asians perceive groups as possessing more coherent and thematically consistent characteristics than ascribed by Westerners. Does this apparent contradiction mean that, unlike individual selves, groups are not dialectically construed by East Asians? One way to reconcile these findings is to say that naïve dialecticism is domain-specific—East Asian dialecticism applies to individuals, but not to groups. Another is to consider individualism–collectivism and argue that East Asians perceive groups as more entitative because they are collectivistic, and Westerners perceive individuals as more entitative because they are individualistic. Pros and cons for these explanations are examined in this chapter and future research directions are suggested.

Keywords:   dialecticism, entitativity, culture, cross-cultural differences, collectivism, individualism, group perception, East Asian cultural groups

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