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IACM 2023

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Similarity Attraction Or Similarity Aversion? Cultural Variation In Perceptions of Similar Others

We investigate the impact of culture on how individuals perceive and interact with similar others in work settings. Across four preregistered studies, we presented individuals with scenarios about both similar others and dissimilar others in the workplace and found that compared to those in individualistic cultures, people in collectivistic cultures perceived higher levels of vigilance and threat from similar others. We propose that this occurs because individuals in collectivistic cultures experience higher levels of perceived competition compared to those in individualistic cultures. We found evidence consistent with this mechanism via mediation and moderation studies.

Gaoyuan Zhu
Cornell University

John Angus D. Hildreth
Cornell University


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