Disregard for outsiders: A cultural comparison

R.W. Tafarodi, S.C. Shaughnessy, W.W.S. Lee, Yin Ping Leung, Y. Ozaki, H. Morio, S. Yamaguchi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The place of outsiders-strangers and otherwise irrelevant others-in the cultural logic of a society holds likely consequences for social perception. The authors begin by describing how outsiders are viewed in Western, Japanese, and Chinese societies. Comparing the three groups, it is proposed that the Chinese are most strongly disposed to disregard or ignore those outside their networks of affiliation and practical involvement. To test this claim experimentally, we assessed the incidental memory of Canadians, Japanese, and Chinese students for social targets of differing situational relevance to the perceiver. As expected, the Chinese showed greater memory advantage than the other groups for primary over nonprimary targets, but only when provided with an explicit justification for exclusive attention. © 2009 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-583
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Selective attention
  • Social memory
  • Strangers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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