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The Handbook of Culture and Psychology$
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David Matsumoto and Hyisung C. Hwang

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190679743

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190679743.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 November 2020

Control Orientations in the East and West

Control Orientations in the East and West

(p.509) 16 Control Orientations in the East and West
The Handbook of Culture and Psychology

Susumu Yamaguchi

Takafumi Sawaumi

Oxford University Press

Individuals exercise control over themselves, others, and environment. According to a seminal work by Weisz, Rothbaum, and Blackburn, which represents a Western view, people in the West prefer to control others or environment to make their life more comfortable (primary control), whereas people in the East prefer to control themselves to fit into environment (secondary control). This chapter critically examines the Western conceptualization of control. Then an alternative view based on Asian value system is presented. According to this view, East–West differences exist not in the target of control (oneself vs. others or environment) but in how people attempt to control others and their environment. The authors present empirical evidence to support the alternative view and propose a framework to understand individuals’ seeking for psychological well-being in the East and West. Westerners (especially North Americans) prefer to control the environment so that they can feel autonomous, whereas Easterners (especially Japanese) care more about consequences of control in terms of interpersonal harmony.

Keywords:   primary control, secondary control, autonomy, interpersonal harmony, control

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