Ingroup Vigilance in Collectivistic Cultures

Liu, S., Morris, M. W., Talhelm, T., & Yang, Q. (2019). Ingroup vigilance in collectivistic culture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

35 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2019

See all articles by Shi Liu

Shi Liu

Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Michael Morris

Columbia Business School - Management

Thomas Talhelm

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Qian Yang

Zhejiang University School of Medicine

Date Written: July 1, 2019

Abstract

Collectivistic cultures have been characterized as having harmonious, cooperative ingroup relationships. Yet we find evidence that people in collectivistic cultures are more vigilant toward ingroup members, mindful of their possible unethical intentions. Study 1 found that Chinese participants were more vigilant than Americans in within-group competitions, anticipating more unethical behaviors from their peers. Study 2 replicated this finding by comparing areas within China, finding that people from China’s collectivistic rice-farming regions exhibit greater ingroup vigilance than people from the less collectivistic wheat-farming regions. The rice-wheat difference was mediated by greater perceived within-group competition. Study 3 found that Chinese participants were more likely than Americans to interpret a peer’s friendly behavior as sabotage in disguise. We also manipulated within-group competition and found that it increased ingroup vigilance in both cultures. Lastly, Study 3 identified two boundary conditions where cultural differences in ingroup vigilance decrease: an unambiguously competitive win-lose situation where Americans also exhibit vigilance, and an unambiguously cooperative win-win situation where Chinese participants relax their vigilance. This research contributes to a more balanced view of collectivism, revealing its interpersonal tensions in the forms of within-group competition and ingroup vigilance.

Keywords: culture, China, rice theory, interdependence, self, collectivism, agriculture, farming, vigilance

Suggested Citation

Liu, Shi and Morris, Michael W. and Talhelm, Thomas and Yang, Qian, Ingroup Vigilance in Collectivistic Cultures (July 1, 2019). Liu, S., Morris, M. W., Talhelm, T., & Yang, Q. (2019). Ingroup vigilance in collectivistic culture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3414087

Shi Liu

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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

Thomas Talhelm (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/t/thomas-talhelm

Qian Yang

Zhejiang University School of Medicine ( email )

481 Binwen Road
Binjiang
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058
China

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
240
PlumX Metrics