A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Metamotivational Knowledge of Construal Level in the United States and Japan
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Metamotivation refers to the beliefs and mechanisms by which people regulate their motivational states to achieve desired ends. Recent metamotivation research demonstrates that Westerners recognize the benefits of engaging in high-level and low-level construal (i.e., motivational orientations toward abstract, essential vs. concrete, idiosyncratic features) for performance on various tasks. We present the first cross-cultural investigation of this knowledge of how to create such construal level task-motivation fit in Eastern and Western cultures. Two studies reveal that American and Japanese participants similarly understand the benefits of high-level vs. low-level construal. American and Japanese participants also similarly recognize the various strategies with which to induce high-level vs. low-level construal—e.g., thinking about why vs. how (Study 1) and engaging in global vs. local visual processing (Study 2). Study 2 also suggests that this metamotivational knowledge in both cultures may guide people’s preferences for these preparatory strategies when anticipating different performance tasks. Taken together, the current research provides preliminary evidence of cross-cultural consistency in metamotivational knowledge of the benefits of high-level and low-level construal and the functional role of this metamotivational knowledge in goal pursuit.
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Tina Nguyen, Taku Togawa, Abigail A. Scholer, Kentaro Fujita (2020). A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Metamotivational Knowledge of Construal Level in the United States and Japan. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17227