Past cross-cultural research studies in regulatory focus have showed that East Asians in general tend to be prevention-focused, whereas Westerners tend to be promotion-focused. Three studies extend these findings by investigating the role of regulatory focus on people’s experiences in enemyship—how people deal with their personal enemies. Study 1 demonstrated that Hong Kong Chinese, as one of representative prevention-focused East Asian groups, showed greater concern about their enemies in terms of perceived threats from their enemies, subjective awareness of enemies, and negative emotional experiences in enemyship, compared with European Canadians as one of representative promotion-focused Western groups. In addition, Study 2 demonstrated that Hong Kong Chinese memorized more pieces of information about a hypothetical enemy than did their Canadian counterparts, which demonstrated a greater concern about enemies among Hong Kong Chinese. Finally, while replicating Study 1, Study 3 demonstrated that participants’ regulatory focus explained the cultural differences in enemyship experiences. Implications for regulatory focus, cross-cultural research, and interpersonal relationship research are discussed. Copyright © 2015 The Author(s).
CitationLi, L. M. W., & Masuda, T. (2016). The role of regulatory focus in how much we care about enemies: Cross-cultural comparison between European Canadians and Hong Kong Chinese. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(1), 131-148. doi: 10.1177/0022022115606803
- Regulatory focus
- Interpersonal relationships