Culture, Conformity, and Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Analysis

36 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2018

See all articles by Jo Laban Peryman

Jo Laban Peryman

Behavioural Business Lab, RMIT University

Date Written: July 20, 2017


This paper applies cultural differences in conformity to the context of risk attitudes. Study One compared East Asian and British students. Using a salient lottery choice task, with and without observation of peers, Study One revealed no effect of peer observation on the East Asian students’ choices. However, the British students were inclined to choose against the majority of their peers. This behaviour is consistent with an individualist culture that places value on uniqueness. Study Two was intended to replicate the results from Study One, using a more diverse population of East Asians and Australians, including non-students. Study Two found East Asians were more likely to choose in-line with the majority of their peers when the size of the majority increases, while no such effect was found for Australians.

Keywords: culture, conformity, risk attitudes, experimental economics

JEL Classification: D81, Z13

Suggested Citation

Laban Peryman, Jo, Culture, Conformity, and Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Analysis (July 20, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Jo Laban Peryman (Contact Author)

Behavioural Business Lab, RMIT University ( email )

445 Swanston Street
Melbourne, 3000

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