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A Global Study of Social Axioms

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    1. A Global Study of Social Axioms Kwok Leung City University of Hong Kong Michael Harris Bond Chinese University of Hong Kong

    2. Social axioms A social axiom is a generalized belief which is central in a person's belief system, and its function is to enhance the survival and functioning of the person in his/her social and physical environment.

    3. Why are social axioms useful to explain cross-cultural differences? Beliefs are related to a variety of social behaviors. Social axioms should demonstrate more cross-cultural variability than concepts frequently used in explaining cultural differences, such as values.

    4. Identification of social axioms Western psychological literature Qualitative research in Hong Kong and Venezuela Open-ended questionnaire Interview Content analysis of popular songs, newspapers, magazines, and primary and secondary school textbooks

    5. The Social Axioms Survey 182 items Administered in Hong Kong and Venezuela Both college students and adults in both sites Factor analysis

    6. Five factors Social cynicism A negative view of human nature and social events Reward for application The belief that effort will lead to positive outcomes Social complexity Multiple solutions to problems and the uncertainty of events Fate control a deterministic view of social events Religiosity (Previously named as Spirituality) the existence of a supreme being and positive consequences of religions

    7. Replication in U.S., Japan, and Germany 60 items short form created Administered to college students Confirmatory factor analysis

    8. Round the world study Over 40 samples Students (40 culture) Adults (13 cultures) Factor analysis based on a meta-analytic procedure Normalize the correlation matrix for each culture Average the matrices across cultures Transform the average matrix into a correlation matrix again

    9. Evaluate the factor solution across the two samples Highly similar factor structures across the two samples High correlations between student and adult means for each factor The student data is used as the sample size is larger

    10. Social Axioms Factor Structure and Summary Findings

    11. Social Cynicism (CYN)

    12. Social Complexity (PLEX)

    13. Reward for Application (RA)

    14. Religiosity (REL)

    15. Fate Control (FATE)

    16. Citizen Means of 40 Countries

    17. Correlations with Social Indicators Social Cynicism Life satisfaction (-.69) View on leadership: Charismatic/value based (-.65) Achievement via conformity (-.62)

    18. Correlations with Social Indicators (Contd) Social Complexity Other-referenced performance motive (-.60) Percentage of showing interest in politics (.55) ) Percentage of GDP on Health (.41)

    19. Correlations with Social Indicators (Contd) Reward for Application Mate preference emphasizing mutual attraction, deemphasizing financial prospect (-.74) Working hours per week (.51) Sources of guidance - superiors (.49)

    20. Correlations with Social Indicators (Contd) Religiosity Importance of religion in life percentage of very important (.69) Hedonic balance (positive negative affect) (.47) Agreeableness (.59)

    21. Correlations with Social Indicators (Contd) Fate Control Suicide rate (.54) Heart disease (.52) Work ethic enjoyment of working hard (.-54)

    22. Country-level analysis Factor analyze item means of 41 cultural groups

    26. Future directions Convergent and discriminant validity with similar concepts Origin of social axioms and their acquisition Environmental and situational influence on social axioms Behavioral consequences of Social axioms Contrast with values its their impact on behaviors