Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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This research examined whether socioeconomic status (SES) predicts reactions to situations in which a group member decides for the entire group, thereby depriving other group members of personal choice. We found, as predicted, that Americans with higher subjective SES accepted choice deprivation less and demanded personal choice more than subjectively lower SES Americans. Subjective SES was a better predictor for reactions to choice deprivation than objective indicators of SES. The degree to which participants interpreted the deprivation of choice as a violation of their personal freedom partially mediated the relationship between subjective SES and reactions to choice deprivation. The results highlight the role subjective SES measurements can play and the need to consider social status and associated models of agency when interpreting behavior and motivation related to choice in American contexts.

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