Choice and Self-Expression: A Cultural Analysis of Variety-Seeking

Heejung S. Kim, Aimee Drolet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three studies examined whether the tendency to seek variety in choices depends in part on cultural assumptions of choice and uniqueness. Study 1 showed that people from different cultures where different assumptions of choice and uniqueness dominate show different levels of variety in their choice rule use. Study 2 primed participants with magazine ads highlighting different representations of uniqueness dominant in individualist versus collectivist cultures to show the influence of cultural meanings of uniqueness on the variety-seeking tendency. Study 3 manipulated the motivation to display variety to demonstrate that variety-seeking in the United States partly hinges on cultural meanings of choice as self-expression. Variety-seeking in choice rule use was eliminated when participants had the chance to self-express through choice listing. The research illustrates the role of cultural assumptions in the variety-seeking tendency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-382
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume85
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003

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