Decision making by Chinese and U.S. Students
Journal of Social Psychology
Differential outcomes and processes were examined between groups drawn from Hong Kong Chinese students and U.S. students. Predictions about group performance and processes were based on cross-cultural empirical literature, theoretical work on collectivist and individualist social behaviors, and group research. The participants engaged in decision-making tasks, first as individuals and then by consensus in groups of 5. A group-effectiveness measure was developed: A group was considered effective if the group as a whole outperformed a majority of its individual members. According to the results of a postexercise questionnaire, (a) Chinese ingroups had a higher percentage of effective groups than did Chinese minimal (acquaintance) groups, whereas U.S. minimal groups had a higher percentage of effective groups than did U.S. ingroups; (b) although the Chinese ingroups' deliberation times were nearly 3 times longer than those of the U.S. ingroups, their performance accuracy was not superior to that of the U.S. groups; and (c) the Chinese participants were more concerned than the U.S. participants about an appropriate image and perceived their group discussions as more intense and conflict ridden than the U.S. participants did.
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