Swinging for the Fences Versus Advancing the Runner: Culture, Motivation, and Strategic Decision Making

Roxie Chuang, Keiko Ishii, Heejung S. Kim, David K. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This research investigated cross-cultural differences in strategic risky decisions in baseball—among professional baseball teams in North America and Japan (Study 1) and among baseball fans in the United States and Japan (Study 2—preregistered). Study 1 analyzed archival data from professional baseball leagues and demonstrated that outcomes reflecting high risk-high payoff strategies were more prevalent in North America, whereas outcomes reflecting low risk-low payoff strategies were more prevalent in Japan. Study 2 investigated fans’ strategic decision making with a wider range of baseball strategies as well as an underlying reason for the difference: approach/avoidance motivational orientation. European American participants preferred high risk-high payoff strategies, Japanese participants preferred low risk-low payoff strategies, and this cultural variation was explained by cultural differences in motivational orientation. Baseball, which exemplifies a domain where strategic decision making has observable consequences, can demonstrate the power of culture through the actions and preferences of players and fans alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

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© The Author(s) 2021.


  • culture
  • decision making
  • motivation
  • risk-taking


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