Cultural construction of success and epistemic motives moderate American-Chinese differences in reward allocation biases

Angela K Y Leung, Young Hoon Kim, Zhi Xue Zhang, Kim Pong Tam, Chi Yue Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


When the relative contribution of the self and the group to a group success is unclear, Americans tend to exhibit a self-serving bias (rewarding the self more than what the self deserves), whereas the Chinese tend to exhibit an other-serving bias (rewarding the group more than the group deserves). In a study comparing the reward allocation biases of Americans and Chinese in different group outcome conditions, the authors showed that the abovementioned cultural difference is found (a) only for culturally congruent success experience (attaining approach goals for Americans and avoidance goals for Chinese) and (b) among individuals who are motivated by the need for cognitive closure to exhibit culturally typical responses. This finding has important implications for understanding the dynamic nature of cultural influences on social behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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