November 5, 2008
Good slides and examples
– Post slides earlier?
Less reading, more in-depth analysis
State objectives for each chapter,
distinguish between multiple concepts
What motivates behavior?
– Self-esteem versus saving face
Morality: Protestant Work Ethic
Control & choice:
– Primary versus Secondary Control
– Primary control and choice
Fitting in versus sticking out:
– Harmony versus distinction from others
Morality and Achievement
Max Weber (1864-1920): capitalist
achievement tied to the Protestant
– People have an individualized relation with
God (no longer need church as intermediary).
– Each person has a “calling,” a unique God-
given purpose to fulfill on earth. Working on
your calling was a way to serve God.
– People are “predestined” to go to heaven or
The Protestant Ethic and the
Spirit of Capitalism
Under ascetic Protestantism, it became a moral duty
to work to achieve.
– People needed to find their calling – work became a path
towards spirituality, like prayer and ritual.
No one knew whether they were among the “elect,”
so they needed worked hard to show that they were
going to heaven.
– Material success was perceived as evidence of being one of
People believed it was sinful to enjoy the fruits of
– Accumulate and reinvest capital to further serve God and
evidence “elect” status.
Belief in predestination did not last more
than a couple of generations
Established an enduring behavioral code:
– Hard work
Evidence in Support of
McClelland (1961) demonstrated that German
Protestants had stronger achievement motivations
than German Catholics using self-report surveys.
– Protestant parents encouraged their children to become
self-reliant earlier than Catholic parents.
– The stories of Protestant boys had more evidence of
achievement motivations than the stories of Catholic boys.
Until recently, Protestant nations in Europe were
more industrialized than Catholic ones. The recent
shift is only after Europe has become more
Self-report surveys show that the
countries with the highest Protestant
Work Ethic, are countries which are
not Protestant (e.g., Mexico, Sri
Are Protestants’ relational styles different in
work than in social settings? (Sanchez-Burks,
Participants: Protestants and non-Protestants
IV: Solve a business case or create a Top 10
Throughout the interaction with a
confederate, the confederate shook his foot.
DV: how much the participant also shook
his/her feet to mimic the confederate
Male Foot-Tapping by Condition
Women did not differ 1.4
across conditions or
Number of Foot-taps
Male Protestants were 1.0
engaged in casual than 0.8
work settings. 0.6
were equally 0.4
both casual and work 0.2
Casual Setting Work Setting
People from different cultures vary in
terms of how they get control over
How you seek control depends on the
theories that you have about both
yourself and the social world.
Two key ways to seek control are
evident in how people might build a
Building a Stone Wall
Primary and Secondary
People with independent views of self
tend to strive to change circumstances to
fit their desires. This is known as
People with interdependent views of self
tend to strive to adjust themselves to
accept circumstances as they are. This is
known as “Secondary Control.”
Aerobics Survey (Morling,
People in Japan and the US
completed a questionnaire about why
they chose an aerobics class, and
what they do when the instructor
initiated a difficult move.
Why did you choose this class?
Americans : chose classes
on times that were
convenient to them
Japanese: more willing to
choose classes based on the
level of difficulty
What do you do when a move is
Japanese are more likely to
try harder when the move is
difficult than are Americans.
Americans are more likely
to do their own thing when
the move is difficult than
That is, Japanese adjust
themselves to the
requirements of the class,
continue to do what they
would rather do.
Secondary control strategies are
more common in non-Western
contexts than in Western ones.
Primary control strategies are more
common in the West than elsewhere.
Is secondary control really a kind of
Control and Choice
A way that primary control is perhaps most directly
evident is when people make choices.
Making choices, the freedom to choose, is
emphasized more in North American contexts than it
Some key decisions in life, such as who one will
marry, what career one will have, where one will live,
are not made by individuals in many cultural
North Americans are more used to making choices
than are people in some other cultures.
Are there costs to choice?
For example, Americans who are given the
opportunity to have free samples from 24 kinds
of jam or 6 kinds of jam, end up buying more
jam when they only have 6 kinds to choose from
(Iyengar & Lepper, 2000).
Making choices depletes self-regulatory
resources. Americans persist less, and make
more errors on a test if they have made a series
of choices than if they have just considered the
options (Vohs et al., 2008).
It also matters who makes the
choices that we accept.
In some domains, people with
interdependent selves prefer choices
that are made by trusted others,
whereas those with independent
selves prefer choices that they make
(Iyengar & Lepper, 1999)
Participants: Fifth grade students, either Asian-
American or Euro-American backgrounds
Task: play a computer game.
IV: Color and name assignment of spaceship
DV: Number of games played
“Personal Choice” condition: make own
choices about their space-ship.
“Ingroup Choice” condition: choices
were made for them by other students
in their class.
“Outgroup Choice” condition: choices
were made for them by 3rd grade
students from another school.
Euro-American kids were more motivated if
they got to make some choices than if any one
else made those choices for them.
Asian-American kids, in contrast, were most
motivated when either an ingroup made their
choices, or they made their own choices. They
were least motivated when an outgroup made
choices for them.
Asian-Americans appear to be quite content
when choices are made for them by others, as
long as those others are close and trusted
Social class and choice
Upper middle class Westerners are particularly
motivated by making choices.
Study by Snibbe and Markus (2005)
contrasted upper middle class Americans with
working class Americans with regards to their
evaluations of a pen they received as
compensation in a study.
In one condition participants were able to
keep a pen that they chose. In another
condition the experimenter replaced (usurped)
their chosen pen with another pen.
Social Class and Choice
Upper middle class Americans take choice seriously -
they like a pen considerably less if their choice was
Working class Americans liked the pen the same
degree regardless of whether they chose it or if
somebody else chose it for them.
The working class American pattern has also been
found in non-Western samples, suggesting that the
unusual pattern is that of upper middle class