Inter-cultural interactions: the Chinese context

David C. Thomas and Yuan Liao

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Inter-cultural interactions: the Chinese context

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Much of the written work on Chinese psychology identifies and describes culture-specific aspects of psychology as it relates to the Chinese people. This identification of cultural specifics (emics) is important, but it is only a first step towards understanding the interactions of Chinese people across cultures. This article discusses a number of intermediate mechanisms or conduits through which Chinese culture influences inter-cultural interactions. These mechanisms involve how Chinese people think about, evaluate, and respond to people who are culturally different. The article describes a behavioural sequence between culturally different actors that involves a number of conduits that are influenced by specific aspects of Chinese culture, such as the salience of situational cues, culturally based scripts and expectations, selective perceptions, out-group identification and attitudes toward out-groups, and the motivational influence of the self-concept. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of the review and discussion for research on Chinese psychology.

Keywords: inter-cultural interaction; culture-specific aspects; intermediate mechanisms; out-groups; motivational mechanism

Article.  12587 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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