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Advances in Culture and PsychologyVolume 3$
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Michele J. Gelfand, Chi-yue Chiu, and Ying-yi Hong

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199930449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199930449.001.0001

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Cultural Unity and Diversity in Compensatory Control Processes

Cultural Unity and Diversity in Compensatory Control Processes

Chapter:
(p.181) Chapter 4 Cultural Unity and Diversity in Compensatory Control Processes
Source:
Advances in Culture and Psychology
Author(s):

Aaron C. Kay

Daniel Sullivan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199930449.003.0004

Compensatory control theory (CCT) suggests that individuals satisfy a broad motive for control by alternately bolstering their own personal control and external control sources, such as their God or government. When one control source comes under threat, individuals compensatorily defend the other. Although the theory arose partly out of cross-cultural research on differences in control beliefs, CCT posits that, across cultures, people have a need to maintain perceptions of control in the world, despite variation in how this need is satisfied. This chapter outlines the development of CCT in research showing the substitutability of personal and external control, as well as different external control sources, after threat. Research establishing that compensatory control responses are uniquely elicited by control threats and driven by negative arousal is then reviewed. Finally, a theoretical model is presented that is designed to encourage future research on the role of cultural and social structural factors in predicting compensatory control patterns across different settings.

Keywords:   compensatory control, threat, arousal, culture, social structure

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