More Than Perceived Social Distance: The Effect of Collectivism on Sharing




Zamudio, Jennifer

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This research project focuses on how cultural characteristics such as collectivism and acculturation affect sharing. In this study, sharing is measured through social discounting practices. Cross-cultural researchers in social discounting support variation in discounting practices depending on culture. In particular, there is speculation that collectivism may play a role in discounting at large social distances. Additionally, individual acculturation is thought to potentially decrease sharing practices. The current study investigated if individual collectivistic values and acculturation level influenced social discounting at differing incentive magnitudes. A 3-way mixed ANOVA was conducted to identify interaction effects between reward amount ($7.50, $750, and $75,000), social distance (1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100), and collectivism. Participants with high levels of collectivism were significantly more likely to share more money at large social distances in the small, standard, and large magnitudes relative to participants with low endorsement of collectivistic values. Acculturation level did not significantly explain discounting variation. The current results imply that individuals who more strongly endorse collectivistic values are more generous to less familiar individuals, empirically validating previous speculation about the relationship between collectivism and social discounting.


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acculturation, collectivism, culture, resource allocation, sharing, social discounting