Impact of an individualist vs. collectivist context on the social valorization of internal explanations

Abstract : The theory of the norm of internality emphasizes the role of Western individualism in the normativity of internal explanations. The present study examines the link between the social value accorded to targets expressing internal vs. external explanations and individualist vs. collectivist contexts. Sixty-three male and female French management sciences students evaluated two targets (internal vs. external) in a simulated recruitment situation. The job vacancy was partially manipulated to create individualist vs. collectivist contexts. Participants were asked to state whether or not they would recruit the targets and to describe the targets on traits relating to social utility (market value) and social desirability (likeability). As expected, the results showed that the effect of the targets’ internality on recruitment judgments and perceived social utility was stronger in the individualist context than in the collectivist context. However, the analysis also revealed that the participant's gender moderated the impact of the context on the evaluation of the targets. The results showed that the context strongly affected the men's judgments, whereas it had no effect on the women's judgments.
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Benoît Testé. Impact of an individualist vs. collectivist context on the social valorization of internal explanations. International Journal of Psychology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2012, 47 (3), pp.222-229. ⟨10.1080/00207594.2011.626042⟩. ⟨hal-01729394⟩

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