Procedural Justice and Culture. Effects of Culture, Gender, and Investigator Status on Procedural Preferences
Research showing strong preferences for adversary procedures of dispute resolution has been conducted only in Western countries, where cultural values emphasize autonomy and competitiveness. The generality of the effect has never been tested in non-Western countries, where cultural values emphasize harmony and solidarity. To fill this gap, college students in the U.S. and Hong Kong were asked to indicate their preferences for using adversary and nonadversary procedures. Two additional factors were included in the design: the status of the investigator in the dispute resolution procedure and the gender of the subject. As expected, the results showed that American subjects in general preferred the adversary procedure, and the Chinese subjects were in general indifferent about the two procedures. Status of investigator and gender of subject interacted in their effects on American subjects' preferences, but did not affect Chinese subjects' preferences. Finally, the results suggested that the Chinese subjects might have perceived the process control afforded them by the adversary procedure to be desirable, but that the confrontation and competitiveness inherent in this procedure might have mitigated their preference for it. © 1986 American Psychological Association.
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