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Unformatted text preview: http://jcc.sagepub.com Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology DOI: 10.1177/0022022107313902 2008; 39; 237 originally published online Feb 7, 2008; Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology Yohtaro Takano and Shunya Sogon In-Groups and the Reference-Group Effect Are Japanese More Collectivistic Than Americans?: Examining Conformity in http://jcc.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/39/3/237 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology can be found at: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology Additional services and information for http://jcc.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://jcc.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://jcc.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/39/3/237 SAGE Journals Online and HighWire Press platforms): (this article cites 35 articles hosted on the Citations © 2008 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. at SAN JOSE STATE UNIV on September 2, 2008 http://jcc.sagepub.com Downloaded from 237 ARE JAPANESE MORE COLLECTIVISTIC THAN AMERICANS? Examining Conformity in In-Groups and the Reference-Group Effect YOHTARO TAKANO University of Tokyo SHUNYA SOGON Osaka Gakuin University This study examines whether the common view that Japanese are more collectivistic than Americans is valid or not in three respects: First, the authors point out that those empirical studies that were directly related to the commonly accepted definition of individualism and collectivism (I/C) did not support the common view and that those studies whose relations to I/C were merely inferred were inappropriate in judging its validity. Second, the authors show that the reference-group effect (Heine, Lehman, Peng, & Greenholtz, 2002) cannot entirely explain the past questionnaire studies’ failure to support the common view. Finally, by replicating Asch’s (1956) conformity experiment with 40 groups of 140 Japanese col- lege students belonging to the same college clubs, the authors demonstrate that Japanese conform no more than Americans even in in-groups. Keywords: collectivism; individualism; Japanese; Americans; conformity This article examines the validity of the common view that Japanese are more collectivistic and less individualistic than Americans. Takano and Osaka (1997, 1999) found that this common view was not endorsed by empirical studies and also concluded that it did not reflect the reality. Later, alternative interpretations of the same empirical findings were proposed. Kitayama (1999) claimed that Takano and Osaka had reviewed a biased set of empirical studies and that the common view was supported by many other studies. Heine, Lehman, Peng, and Greenholtz (2002) maintained that the failure of the reviewed questionnaire studies to endorse the common view should not be taken to mean...
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