Effects of relational uncertainty in heightening national identification and reactive approach motivation of Japanese
This study investigated whether relational uncertainty poses uncertainty threat, which causes compensatory behaviours among Japanese. We hypothesised that Japanese, as collectivists, would perceive relational uncertainty to pose uncertainty threat. In two experiments, we manipulated relational uncertainty, and confirmed that participants exhibited compensatory reactions to reduce aversive feelings due to it. In Study 1, we conducted direct comparison between relational uncertainty, independent self-uncertainty and control conditions. The results revealed that participants who were instructed to imagine events pertaining to relational uncertainty heightened national identification as compensation than did participants in the control condition, but independent self-uncertainty did not provoke such effects. In Study 2, we again manipulated relational uncertainty; however, we also manipulated participants’ individualism-collectivism cultural orientation through priming, and the analyses yielded a significant interaction effect between these variables. Relational uncertainty evoked reactive approach motivation, a cause for compensatory behaviours, among participants primed with collectivism, but not for individualism. It was concluded that the effect of uncertainty on compensatory behaviour is influenced by cultural priming, and that relational uncertainty is important to Japanese.