Donnerstag, 23. Mrz 2017, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Culture and Hierarchy

Psychological Correlates of Hierarchy in East and West

Fakultät für Psychologie, Hörsaal G
Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Wien


A large body of research in Western, especially American, culture has documented that high-ranked individuals tend to promote the self and pursue self-set goals (i.e., self-orientation). However, the effects of hierarchy may also depend on specific cultural contexts in which hierarchy is located. In this talk, I will introduce our studies that examine cultural similarities and differences in how hierarchy is linked to psychological processes. Cultural similarities are expected for the link between hierarchy and self-orientation to the extent that resources and freedom associated with high ranks promote self-orientation. At the same time, we also argue that cultural contexts can shape manifestations of hierarchy by enabling and expecting high-ranked individuals to engage in culturally sanctioned tasks, which in Japan involve promotion of others’ interests or relations to others (i.e., other-orientation). First, we found that high-ranked individuals tend to show higher self-orientation than low-ranked individuals do across cultures. Second, we also found that cultural contexts moderate the link between hierarchy and other-orientation; high-ranked individuals tend to show higher other-orientation than low-ranked individuals do in Japan, whereas such an association tends to be weaker, absent, or reversed in the U.S. Generalization to cultures beyond the U.S. and Japan will also be discussed.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ansorge und Dr. Michael Forster


Abla Marie-Jose Bedi
Fakultät für Psychologie
Institut für Psychologische Grundlagenforschung und Forschungsmethoden
+43-(0)1-4277-471 04