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Two faces of interdependence: Harmony seeking and rejection avoidance

Authors

  • Hirofumi Hashimoto,

    1. Department of Social Psychology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Toshio Yamagishi

    Corresponding author
    1. Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University, Tokyo, Japan
    • Department of Social Psychology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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  • We would like to thank Daniel Yang for his help with data collection and colleagues at Hokkaido University for providing class time for the recruitment of participants.

Correspondence: Toshio Yamagishi, Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University, 6-1-1 Tamagawagakuen, Machida, Tokyo 194-0041, Japan. Email: yamagishitoshio@gmail.com

Abstract

We argue that the current concept of interdependent self-construal as ‘harmony seeking’ has overlooked a strategic aspect of interdependence, which we term ‘rejection avoidance’. Using newly constructed scales of interdependent self-construal, one for harmony seeking and one for rejection avoidance, we find that Japanese respondents showed lower independence and higher rejection avoidance than Americans, while no cultural difference was found in harmony seeking. These findings explain why past efforts to demonstrate cultural differences in interdependent self-construal using self-report measures exclusively focusing on the harmony seeking aspect have failed.

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