Influence of cultural meaning system and socioeconomic change on indecisiveness in three cultures

Man Wai LI, Takahiko MASUDA, Feng JIANG

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Psychologists have debated two external factors that influence human behaviors: current socioeconomic changes and historically shared cultural meaning systems. By conducting triangular comparisons among Hong Kong Chinese, mainland Chinese, and European Canadians, the current study examined whether these two factors differentially influence people’s indecisiveness. We found that (a) Hong Kong Chinese participants’ level of indecisiveness was highest, and there were no differences between the two other groups; (b) dialectical beliefs facilitated participants’ indecisiveness whereas optimism toward the future attenuated it across cultures and both factors explained cultural variations in indecisiveness; and (c) different from European Canadians’ optimism, optimism about the future promoted by perception of current rapid societal change made mainland Chinese more decisive. The importance of within-region analyses to disentangle varying factors in decision-making processes is discussed. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-524
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number4
Early online dateMar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


socioeconomic development
system change
Hong Kong
Decision Making
cultural factors
decision-making process


Li, L. M. W., Masuda, T., & Jiang, F. (2016). Influence of cultural meaning system and socioeconomic change on indecisiveness in three cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(4), 508-524. doi: 10.1177/0022022116631824


  • Socioeconomic changes
  • Cultural meaning systems
  • Cultural difference
  • Indecisiveness
  • Dialecticism