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Standing out and standing in: The psychology of control in America and Japan

Standing out and standing in: The psychology of control in America and Japan There are at least 2 general paths to a feeling of control. In primary control, individuals enhance their rewards by influencing existing realities (e.g., other people, circumstances, symptoms, or behavior problems). In secondary control, individuals enhance their rewards by accommodating to existing realities and maximizing satisfaction or goodness of fit with things as they are. It is argued that American psychologists' exclusive focus on primary control reflects a cultural context in which primary control is heavily emphasized and highly valued. In Japan, by contrast, primary control has traditionally been less highly valued and less often anticipated, and secondary control has assumed a more central role in everyday life. Japanese and American perspectives and practices are contrasted in childrearing, socialization, religion and philosophy, work, and psychotherapy. These comparisons reveal some key benefits, and some costs, of both primary and secondary approaches to control. The comparisons suggest that an important goal, both for individuals and for cultures, is an optimally adaptive blend of primary and secondary control. (116 ref) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Psychologist American Psychological Association

Standing out and standing in: The psychology of control in America and Japan

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References (110)

Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1984 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0003-066x
eISSN
1935-990X
DOI
10.1037/0003-066X.39.9.955
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

There are at least 2 general paths to a feeling of control. In primary control, individuals enhance their rewards by influencing existing realities (e.g., other people, circumstances, symptoms, or behavior problems). In secondary control, individuals enhance their rewards by accommodating to existing realities and maximizing satisfaction or goodness of fit with things as they are. It is argued that American psychologists' exclusive focus on primary control reflects a cultural context in which primary control is heavily emphasized and highly valued. In Japan, by contrast, primary control has traditionally been less highly valued and less often anticipated, and secondary control has assumed a more central role in everyday life. Japanese and American perspectives and practices are contrasted in childrearing, socialization, religion and philosophy, work, and psychotherapy. These comparisons reveal some key benefits, and some costs, of both primary and secondary approaches to control. The comparisons suggest that an important goal, both for individuals and for cultures, is an optimally adaptive blend of primary and secondary control. (116 ref)

Journal

American PsychologistAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Sep 1, 1984

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