Similarity attraction and actually selecting similar others: How cross-societal differences in relational mobility affect interpersonal similarity in Japan and the USA
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2009
© 2009 The Authors. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association
Asian Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 12, Issue 2, pages 95–103, June 2009
How to Cite
Schug, J., Yuki, M., Horikawa, H. and Takemura, K. (2009), Similarity attraction and actually selecting similar others: How cross-societal differences in relational mobility affect interpersonal similarity in Japan and the USA. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 12: 95–103. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-839X.2009.01277.x
- Issue published online: 13 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2009
- Received 14 December 2007; accepted 13 July 2008.
- cross-cultural difference(s);
- relational mobility;
Several studies have demonstrated that similarity between friendship partners is higher in the West than in East Asian countries. We hypothesized that these differences could be explained by relational mobility, or the number of opportunities to form new relationships in a given society. Through two studies, we confirmed that whereas the preference for similarity did not differ, similarity between friendship partners was higher in the USA than in Japan. Furthermore, a measure of relational mobility mediated the cultural difference in similarity, supporting our hypothesis. The effectiveness of considering socio-ecological factors when interpreting cultural differences in behaviour is discussed.