Barnlund D. C. & Araki, S. (1985). Intercultural encounters: Th e management of compliments by Japanese and Americans. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 16 (1), 9-26.
An interview with 56 participants (20 Americans in the US, 18 Japanese in the US, and 18 Japanese in Japan) revealed that the Americans gave compliments much more frequently than the Japanese – Americans reported to have given a compliment in the previous 1.6 days whereas Japanese had only done so in the previous 13 days. Some of the fi ndings: most frequently praised features were appearance and personal traits among Americans and acts, work/study, and appearance among Japanese. American used a wider range of adjectives than Japanese who used fewer adjectives and adjectives with less of a range in meaning. In responding to compliments, Americans tended to accept compliments or justify or extend them; Japanese questioned their accuracy, denied them, explained the reason why they were not deserved, or responded by smiling or saying nothing at all. Th e closer the relationship was, the more frequently Americans gave compliments, while Japanese were less likely to off er praise. Female speakers in both cultures were more likely to give and receive compliments. Th e authors also report their fi ndings from a questionnaire given to 260 Japanese and 260 American participants. Although preferred strategies of expressing admiration were similarly indirect among both the American and Japanese participants, Japanese preferred noting one’s own limitations twice as much as Americans and relied on non-verbal communication much more frequently. Americans preferred giving praise to a third party twice as much as Japanese. Some other fi ndings are in relation to gender, topic focus, and communicative partners.