A British study of the informal rules of 22 social relationships was replicated among Japanese, Hong Kong and Italian samples. Subjects were asked to rate the importance of 33 common and varylng numbers of relationship-specific rules to each of these relationships on a 9-point bipolar scale. Multivariate analyses showed each culture has a structure of highly endorsed rules, although a number of cross-cultural differences emerged in the nature of these rules, particularly those relating to intimacy. Certain cross-cultural predictions were confirmed.Requests for reprints should be sent to M. Argyle, Task Interpersonal -Providing rewards e.g., should g v e e.g., should volunteer emotional support help Avoiding conflicts c.g., should not be e.g., should cooperate jealous of other relationships over shared environmentIt is useful to distuigsh between friendship and other bonds, where the relationship is primary and there is little or no task, and working relationships, in which the task is primary. Even here, however, the social relationships or 'secondary system' as Homans (1950) called it, are very important. M. Argyle el al. / Cultural variations in relationship rules289 Argyle et al. (1985) examined rules over a range of relationships, varying from the highly intimate, such as husband-wife, to taskfocussed relations, such as doctor-patient or teacher-pupil. These included friendship, hierarchical and peer work relationships, neighbours, dating and cohabiting, kin and inlaws, to conflict relations with a disliked individual. Males and females in two age groups were asked to rate the importance of the rules to these relationships on a bipolar scale ranging from 'Rule very important' through 'Rule does not apply' to 'Opposite of stated rule very important'.Four main findings emerged. First, all relationships were characterised by a structure of highly endorsed rules, and there was a consensus across subjects on what these rules were. Second, certain rules were highly endorsed across more than half of the relationships. These were termed ' universal rules', and dealt with respecting privacy eye contact, not disclosing confidences, sexual activity, public criticism and repaying debts or favours. Third, in all task-focussed relationships, task-related rules were endorsed more highly than interpersonal rules, with the exception of some of the 'universal' rules described above. Fourth, cluster analysis of the ratings of all 33 general rules gave two distinct clusters of relationships: intimate, comprising spouses, family, friends and heterosexual relations; and non-intimate including work, professional and service relationships, neighbours and conflict relations. The main discriminating rules dealt with ritual exchange, expressing affection, and requesting help of the other person.The universal rules dealing with privacy and disclosing confidences tend to be maintenance rules, as expected. These operate to maintain the relationship regardIess of the type of relationship. In intimate relationships there are more rules abou...
Self-report data on the physiological/behavioral response associated with embarrassment were collected by questionnaire in Greece, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and West Germany. Blushing/increased temperature and smiling/grinning were reported consistently across nations, although blushing, as indexed by temperature change, was reported with twice the frequency in the U.K. sample as in the other European samples; gaze aversion and face touching were also reported with greater frequency in U.K. sample. Southern European respondents were less likely to report gaze aversion and very unlikely to report laughing when embarrassed. The general "understatement" of embarrassment in the U.K. sample and "overstatement" of embarrassment in the Greek sample are discussed in relation to national stereotypes.
The article suggests the use of social representations theory to provide a positive approach to peace research and a theoretical framework for understanding peace movements. Studying peace, war and conflict in this perspective enables exploration of these concepts as objects socially constructed, elaborated and shared by different groups. Four groups of activists are compared with people not belonging to any association, in order to investigate the existence of particular social representations of peace, war and conflict. As in previous cross-cultural research, an independent social representation of peace emerges only among activists. The social representation of war is also different in the two groups: nonactivists see it as frightening, whereas activists see ways of tackling it. The greatest difference between the two groups is in the social representation of conflict. Conflict is assimilated to war for non-activists, whereas activists represent it as more manageable and normal. The results support the idea of understanding peace activism as a particular form of coping -community coping -based on the group as a whole, rather than on individual capacity to manage problems. At a theoretical level, the article discusses the importance of linking social representations to practice and group identification. At a practical level, it suggests that support for pacifism will be only transient and superficial until these underlying differences in representations can be changed.* We wish to thank the editor and three anonymous referees from JPR for their constructive comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. We also wish to thank the individuals and the associations who cooperated in the study. A replication dataset can be found at
We tested Kanter's (1977aKanter's ( , 1977b theory concerning the effects of group proportions (sex ratios) on visibility, polarization and assimilation, using natural groups of women and men in academia. Study 1 compared male-skewed and male-tilted settings and found evidence of greater polarization by minority women than majority men. The only effect of group proportions occurred for perceived dispersion as a measure of assimilation; replicating Brown and Smith (1989), men showed an out-group (OH), and women an in-group (IH), homogeneity effect, and both effects were accentuated in the skewed setting. Study 2 extended the research to include maleskewed, male-tilted, balanced and female-tilted sex ratios. Men's OH effect declined as relative out-group size increased, and women's IH effect declined as relative in-group size increased. There was also a linear decrease in relative perceived in-group impact and status as actual relative in-group
With the aim of addressing environmental concerns from an applied social psychological perspective, this study explores how regulations aimed at reducing industrial pollution contribute to short-term and long-term changes in social representations. The local river in a Valley characterised by strong interactions between industries and communities was the focus of concern. Three features of the representations were examined: images, emotional experiences and practices. The research followed a multi-method approach, using reports completed by 11-to 14-year-old school pupils and collected in three periods: 19741977; 19781980; 20072009. In the third time period, interviews and surveys were also collected. Textual data underwent lexicometric analyses and qualitative content analyses; quantitative data underwent descriptive and inferential analyses. Results show that effective regulations contributed to positive change in social representations of the river. After 30 years, however, tensions between elements of the representation are present. Images and emotional experiences of the river considerably improved, so much so that the river almost disappears from the focus of attention. Practices however are consistent with old representations of the water as noxious, indicating persistent concerns about potential pollution. Results suggest the desirability of continuing participatory engagement between citizens and local/environmental authorities, not only as new regulations are introduced but also after they have been enacted. Copyright (c) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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