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Cultural Dimensions on Behavior

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• Examine the role of two cultural dimensions on behavior. Introduction:
•To begin with culture as stated by Matsumoto (2004) is a dynamic system of rules containing attitudes, values, beliefs, norms and behaviors. There are a variety of different ways in which to interpret culture, such as the perception of food or the way in which people in a particular culture dress. This in a sense is the “surface culture” of a specific country; the “deep culture” on the other hand involves the various beliefs, attitudes and values that a culture entails. Now when we further contemplate about culture and the attitudes, beliefs and values that are derived from that particular culture, we may assume that culture in its very core influences the behavior of others. While some may see this as the truth, others such as the prominent psychologist named Kuschel have stated, that culture can by no means be an explanation for the behavior that people emanate Why?

Simply because the term culture is to broad a subject to define behavior, we must concentrate upon the cultural aspects and dimensions of a nation, such as the social or environmental setting an individual may find himself in to explain behavior. When we talk about cultural dimensions, we address the perspectives of a particular culture solely based on values and cultural norms. Due to Hofstede we are able to define various cultural settings or situations under five cultural dimensions. Which are Individualism/ Collectivism, Power distance, Uncertainty/ avoidance, Masculinity/ Femininity and Confucian dynamism, these different aspects of dimensions are less or more substantial in some cultures than in others. Now following we will address the influence that the cultural dimensions of Individualism/Collectivism and Masculinity/Femininity have on behavior. Body One:

•Study: (Hofstede) – IBM Employee Correlation Study
•Context: The Prominent Psychologist (Hofstede) conducted a study based on the work related attitudes and values of IBM employees. He handed out surveys and gained date from 72 countries that are 60,000 IBM employees. These surveys had leading questions or predetermined results. The study had duration of 10 years, and concluding those ten years it became evident four of the cultural dimensions were present including Individualism and Collectivism.

•Strength: This particular study had useful quantitative data and a lot of data at that. Another positive side on this study was the duration of it. For it allowed reassessment and contemplation about the given information.

•Limitation: There were a lot of issues with the presented study such as low ecological validity; it required participants to have literacy skills and to be able to understand English since the questions were written in it. Therefore data due to the lack of comprehensions was not able to be received.

•Collectivism on behavior:
•As this study was conducted it became noticeable that individuals coming from collectivistic culture, tended to conform simply in a harmonies direction. They answered and conducted the survey in fashion which revealed their desire for anonymity and group think. It also became apparent that they had a low amount of compliance, for they often required a subject to be persuasive and they tended to seek out other opinions from various members of their own group. Therefore it can be assumed that the collectivistic nature of thing influenced the behaviors of individuals in this particular social setting.

•Individualism on behavior:
•As the survey was undertaken it was seen that certain individuals were more absorbed with themselves, and that ties between the groups were not as strong. The particular countries form which the individuals were derived from seemed wealthier and had a relatively lower birth rate than other countries. Facts which all perpetuate Individualism, therefore as the survey was taken it seemed that individual thoughts were encouraged and that the compliance was higher since people from individualistic cultures tend not to adhere to the opinions and perspectives of others. Seeing this it can be interpreted that Individualism and aspect of culture influences people during this study to conform less. Sub sequentially influencing the behavior of people. Body Two:

•Study: (Kashima and Triandis) – Self Serving Bias and Modesty Bias study
•Context: The Participants in this study were derived from Japan and America, in this study these individuals were given pictures of unfamiliar nations and then they were asked to remember the details of these pictures. After the pictures were taken away participants were asked to recollect the various details enlaced with these pictures. Various behaviors in this study were due to the cultural dimension of Masculinity and Femininity. For instance American Students tended to attribute success more too dispositional factors while Japanese students tended to attribute their failure to dispositional ones. Behaviors which can be defined under the terms of self-serving bias and modesty bias.

•Limitations: The weakness of this study was that only one superstitious group was studied locally.
•Strength: The positive one this study was the ecological validity, for it had a substantial natural observation.
•Masculinity on behavior:
•Masculinity dimensions in cultures are traits that are masculine, are dominant in values. It is where looser relationships exist, basically independence is valued. Also this particular dimension is more adamant about materialistic achievements. But setting this aside in this particular study it was seen that the Japanese culture possessed the modesty bias. A fact which illustrates that their behavior was influenced by the masculinity dimension since they did not deflect the responsibility and manned up in a sense, that is why when asked on what they blame on their lack recollection they attributed it to their dispositional factors. It is for that reason that the masculinity dimensions influenced the behavior of the Japanese to give such a statement.

•Femininity on behavior:
•In this particular culture people usually adhere to quality of life, welfare, personal relationships, and service and in a lesser degree dominance in gender. And in this particular study it became apparent that the USA possessed certain female characteristic which influenced their statement that situational factors were responsible for the lack of recollection. They possessed self serving bias, exactly as the name suggest the American participants tried to deflect their lack f recollection on external factors instead of living up to them, we may interpret this reason to be involved in their own welfare. Which in sense possesses the aspect of self serving bias, therefore in conclusion certain female characteristics such as welfare were responsible for the behavior which in this case was the deflection. Conclusion:

•As we view what is stated we can see that various cultural dimension influence behavior, such as the dimensions of Individualism/ Collectivism and Femininity/ Masculinity. Study incorporating these dimensions, for instance Hofstede IBM study or Kashima and Triandis Self-serving and Modesty bias study aid in illustrating the influence that these particular dimensions have on behavior. Whether it be for selfish reasons such as one’s own gratification or for less mundane ones as well.

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