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How Similar Are Impression-Formation Processes Among Japanese and Americans?

Herman W. Smith, Takanori Matsuno and Michio Umino
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 57, No. 2 (Jun., 1994), pp. 124-139
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786706
Page Count: 16
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How Similar Are Impression-Formation Processes Among Japanese and Americans?
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Abstract

We offer the first rigorous cross-cultural test of affect control theory using Japanese subjects in Japan. Tests of the impression-formation equations and theory underlying affect control theory involve two stages. First, a Japanese semantic differential dictionary of 403 fundamental identities and 307 fundamental behaviors provides evidence for culturally ideographic connotations. Second, a quasi-factorial design produces a Japanese set of impression-formation equations for predicting transient changes in identities and behaviors. The Japanese equations use a consistent subset of the American predictors with comparable weights, which suggests evidence for the cross-cultural similarity in cognitive processing of impression formation. Statistical tests of three of the four hypotheses are unable to reject the null hypothesis of no difference. Tests of the fourth hypothesis suggest that Japanese impression formation may be simpler than its American equivalent.

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