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The value of predicted enjoyment : decision making with individuals from East Asian and North American cultural backgrounds Falk, Carl Francis

Abstract

In North American culture, research shows that individuals often make decisions based on affective forecasts. In contrast, East Asian cultures often warn against excessive hedonism - instead preferring harmony and balance. We predict that with these individuals, expectations about future positive affect may have less influence on decision making. In Study 1, North American and East Asian participants made a choice between two activities: One framed as enjoyable but not useful, and the other as useful but not enjoyable. In Studies 2 and 3, we measured the relationship between predicted enjoyment and predicted likelihood of taking hypothetical university courses. Our findings suggest that East Asians place less weight on affective forecasts in decision making and this may be due to differences in independent and interdependent self construals. However, our results also suggest that affective forecasts are still important for decision making among those from East Asian cultural backgrounds.

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