Epistemic Motives and Cultural Conformity: Need for Closure, Culture, and Context as Determinants of Conflict Judgments

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Abstract

Three studies support the proposal that need for closure (NFC) involves a desire for consensual validation that leads to cultural conformity. Individual differences in NFC interact with cultural group variables to determine East Asian versus Western differences in conflict style and procedural preferences (Study 1), information gathering in disputes (Study 2), and fairness judgment in reward allocations (Study 3). Results from experimental tests indicate that the relevance of NFC to cultural conformity reflects consensus motives rather than effort minimization (Study 2) or political conservatism (Study 3). Implications for research on conflict resolution and motivated cultural cognition are discussed.

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