Self-effacing attributions of Japanese effects of public in-group and out-group versus private

by Angela E. L. Buntain

Institution: Central Queensland University
Year: 0
Keywords: Japanese Social life and customs.; Japanese Psychology.; TBA.; TBA.; TBA.; Thesis; Book. e-thesis
Record ID: 1058832
Full text PDF: http://hdl.cqu.edu.au/10018/930091


Japanese students' self-effacing attributions in response to perceived success and failure on problem solving tasks in either private settings, or public settings in the presence of an in-group (Japanese peer) or out-group (Australian student) member, were examined. Self-attributions of sixty Japanese university students were measured in relation to ability, effort, luck and task difficulty prior to the tasks and then after each task. The groups did not differ on these measures prior to the tasks. As predicted, in-group participants were more self-effacing about their ability than participants who performed the tasks in private. However, out-group participants were less self-effacing about their ability than in-group participants. Group differences in attributions for task difficulty were also demonstrated. Furthermore, all three groups attributed task success to good luck and task failure to bad luck. It was suggested that the out-group participants' high self-attributions on ability, when in the presence of an Australian partner, might represent a response to perceived situational demands and expectations of working with westernised, individualistic oriented partners. The findings have implications for understanding the complexity of selfattribution biases in collectivistic cultures and the interactions between Japanese and Western participants in cross-cultural problem-solving and decision-making settings.