ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (11): 1244-1259.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.01244

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The influence of culture on wise reasoning in the context of self-friend conflict and its mechanism

WEI, Xindong1, WANG, Fengyan2,3()   

  1. 1School of Teacher Education, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
    2School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
    3Institute of Moral Education Research, Nanjing Normal University; Nanjing 210097, China
  • Received:2020-10-09 Published:2021-11-25 Online:2021-09-23
  • Contact: WANG, Fengyan
  • Supported by:
    General Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(31971014);fifth “333 high-level talent training project” scientific research support project of Jiangsu Province in 2020 -- “influence and mechanism of culture on individual wisdom performance”


In contrast to dealing with personal conflicts, westerners who are mainly independent self are wiser in dealing with their friends’ personal conflicts (Solomon paradox). Will Solomon’s paradox have different characteristics among Chinese people who are mainly interdependent self? In Study 1, Chinese and American participants were recruited through an online platform and randomly assigned to a self/friend conflict group to examine their levels of wise reasoning and the influence of self-type. The results of alignment and ANOVA showed that the friend group had significantly higher wise reasoning than the self group among Americans, while the two groups had no significant difference among Chinese. Further analysis found that the interaction between independent self and conflict type significantly predicted wise reasoning in Chinese culture. Based on this study, through the priming of different self types, Study 2-4 examined the individual’s wisdom reasoning differences in self or friend-conflict groups in Chinese culture. The results showed that the wise reasoning of the friend-group was significantly higher than that of the self-group when independent self was primed; however, there was no significant difference between the two groups when interdependent self was primed. Research suggests that the Solomon paradox may only exist in individuals with a high level of independent self and is not universal. Therefore, in addition to the issue of sample diversity, psychological research should pay more attention to researchers who use only Western samples and make inferences in an unreflective way.

Key words: wisdom, self, wise reasoning, cultural difference, alignment