Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2049770
 
 

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Is the Use of Averaging in Advice Taking Modulated by Culture?


Hugo Mercier


University of Neuchatel

Hiroshi Yama


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Yayoi Kawasaki


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kuniko Adachi


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst


CNRS

May 2, 2012

Journal of Cognition and Culture, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Many recent experiments have explored the way people take advice into account. It has been observed that in so doing participants often rely on one of the two following strategies: averaging between the different opinions or choosing one of the opinions, as opposed to using more complex weighting strategies. While several factors that affect strategy choice have been investigated, no attention has been paid to potential cultural variations. Among the many relevant cross-cultural differences, results have show that Easterners tend to favor compromise more than Westerners, a difference that could translate into a greater preference for averaging in Eastern population. In Experiment 1, we confronted Japanese and French participants to two pieces of advice and asked them to form an aggregate answer. In Experiments 2, participants had to aggregate their own opinion and a piece of advice. In neither of the experiments were the Japanese more likely to use averaging than the French. Explanations for this robust absence of difference are suggested. The only difference that emerged was that the Japanese were more likely to choose the advice and less likely to choose their own answer than the French. Different interpretations of this result are discussed, including the possibility that it is an artifact of a theoretically irrelevant difference between the populations under study.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: advice, culture, averaging

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Date posted: May 2, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Mercier, Hugo and Yama, Hiroshi and Kawasaki, Yayoi and Adachi, Kuniko and Van der Henst, Jean-Baptiste, Is the Use of Averaging in Advice Taking Modulated by Culture? (May 2, 2012). Journal of Cognition and Culture, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2049770

Contact Information

Hugo Mercier (Contact Author)
University of Neuchatel ( email )
Espace Louis Agassiz 1
Neuchâtel, 2000
Switzerland
Hiroshi Yama
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Yayoi Kawasaki
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Kuniko Adachi
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst
CNRS ( email )
3, rue Michel-Ange
Paris, 75794
France
Feedback to SSRN


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