Cultural Conditioning: Understanding Interpersonal Accommodation in India and the U.S. In Terms of the Modal Characteristics of Interpersonal Influence Situations

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming

68 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2010

See all articles by Krishna Savani

Krishna Savani

Nanyang Business School

Michael Morris

Columbia Business School - Management

N. V. R. Naidu

M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT)

Satichchandra Kumar

University of Mumbai

Neha V. Berlia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 9, 2010

Abstract

We argue that differences between the landscapes of influence situations in Indian and American societies induce Indians to accommodate to others more often than Americans. To investigate cultural differences in situation-scapes, we sampled interpersonal influence situations occurring in India and the U.S., both from the influencee’s (Study 1) and the influencer’s (Study 2) perspectives. We found that Indian influence situations were dramatically more likely than U.S. situations to feature other-serving motives and to result in positive consequences for the relationship. Yet Study 3 found that targets of influence felt no less free to decide whether to accommodate in India than the U.S., but felt more concerned about the influencer. To investigate the effects of situation-scapes on people’s expectations and decisions, we exposed Indian and American participants to descriptions of situations from both societies (with their origins obscured). Study 4 found that both groups of participants expected more positive consequences from accommodation in Indian situations than in American situations. Finally, Study 5 found that both groups decided to accommodate more often in Indian situations than in American situations. At the same time, Indian participants were more likely than Americans to accommodate across all situations, but the two groups converged over 100 trials as they were exposed to more and more situations drawn from each others’ cultures. We interpret these effects in terms of the default decisions or biases conditioned by people’s recently encountered situations.

Keywords: Culture, Conditioning, Influence, Accommodation, Decision Making, Negotiations, Sitautions

Suggested Citation

Savani, Krishna and Morris, Michael W. and Naidu, N. V. R. and Kumar, Satichchandra and Berlia, Neha V., Cultural Conditioning: Understanding Interpersonal Accommodation in India and the U.S. In Terms of the Modal Characteristics of Interpersonal Influence Situations (July 9, 2010). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1653289

Krishna Savani (Contact Author)

Nanyang Business School ( email )

Singapore, 639798
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.krishnasavani.com

Michael W. Morris

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2296 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.michaelwmorris.com

N. V. R. Naidu

M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT) ( email )

Bangalore, 560054
India

Satichchandra Kumar

University of Mumbai ( email )

Mumbai
Maharashtra
Mumbai, 400 019
India

Neha V. Berlia

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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