Event Title

British and American Young Adults' Cross-Cultural Stereotypes of Regret and Shame

Poster Number

05

Presenter Information

Leah Brown, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

24-4-2015 1:20 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 2:50 PM

Description

Stereotypes are beliefs and attitudes held about groups and their group members (McCauley, Jussim, & Lee, 1995). Our study examined the possibility of stereotypes that British and American young adults might have of each other related to regret, shame, and guilt. We hypothesized that the two cultures would perceive each other more inaccurately than accurately. British (n = 85) and American (n = 120) young adults completed an online survey. Participants were asked to briefly describe one thing in their lives that they regretted the most. Next, participants were instructed to respond to statements about the regretted event, such as “I feel strong regret when I think about this situation.” In the last part of the survey, participants were instructed to picture themselves as members of the opposite cultural group (British or American) and to answer the same set of questions (described above) as members of that group. Results revealed that regretted events were similar across cultures. British participants perceived Americans as more emotional in response to regret, while Americans did not hold the same view of British participants. British participants also perceived that Americans would agree that the guilt resulting from the event was difficult to bear, and that Americans would spend time wishing the situation had not occurred. In contrast to our hypothesis, we found that British and American young adults revealed many similarities and mostly accurate perceptions of one another. Our findings offer a new cross-cultural comparison between these two groups.

Comments

Leah Brown is a McNair Scholar.

Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, March 2015

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Apr 24th, 1:20 PM Apr 24th, 2:50 PM

British and American Young Adults' Cross-Cultural Stereotypes of Regret and Shame

Richardson Ballroom

Stereotypes are beliefs and attitudes held about groups and their group members (McCauley, Jussim, & Lee, 1995). Our study examined the possibility of stereotypes that British and American young adults might have of each other related to regret, shame, and guilt. We hypothesized that the two cultures would perceive each other more inaccurately than accurately. British (n = 85) and American (n = 120) young adults completed an online survey. Participants were asked to briefly describe one thing in their lives that they regretted the most. Next, participants were instructed to respond to statements about the regretted event, such as “I feel strong regret when I think about this situation.” In the last part of the survey, participants were instructed to picture themselves as members of the opposite cultural group (British or American) and to answer the same set of questions (described above) as members of that group. Results revealed that regretted events were similar across cultures. British participants perceived Americans as more emotional in response to regret, while Americans did not hold the same view of British participants. British participants also perceived that Americans would agree that the guilt resulting from the event was difficult to bear, and that Americans would spend time wishing the situation had not occurred. In contrast to our hypothesis, we found that British and American young adults revealed many similarities and mostly accurate perceptions of one another. Our findings offer a new cross-cultural comparison between these two groups.