chapter  7
26 Pages

Culture, social cognition and social influence

Social psychology across cultures
WithAndrew Stevenson

A social dominance orientation involves high-status groups adopting a so-called ‘just world’ justification for their elevated social position. Indeed, this theory sees powerful and relatively powerless groups as both likely to identify with the upper echelons, for example by attributing the failures of low-status groups to internal dispositions. In some cultural settings personal identity may be construed more from individual traits, while elsewhere it arises from the social networks to which we belong. Early research suggests that people from more individualistic cultural settings are more likely to subscribe to an independent style of self-construal, with collectivist cultures fostering interdependent self-construal. Comparatively, individualistic cultures foster a more autonomous view of the self, fostering a greater tendency towards invoking internal explanations. So, as to the cultural universality of attribution bias, it appears that the practice of praising oneself for success is not universally widespread, as in some cultures self-effacement is more the norm.