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Abstract

Are people always motivated to strive for cognitive consistency? Does culture influence a person’s motivation to maintain cognitive consistency between attitudes and actions or between preferences and choices? When and how do people in different cultures experience cognitive dissonance, engage in justification of their behavior, and use self-affirmation? When and how are people with different models of agency motivated to maintain a preference-choice consistency? In this paper, culturally variable self-schemata and models of agency, independent self and agency dominant in North American culture and interdependent self and agency prevalent in Asian culture, are considered as the source of cultural variations in cognitive consistency. These culturally divergent self-systems create variance in situations in which North Americans and Asians are motivated to maintain cognitive consistency. In this paper, related cross-cultural research is reviewed. Some future research agenda are also discussed.