Date of Award

11-1972

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Supervisor

Professor D.W. Carment

Abstract

Although a large number of studies of co-operation and competition have been carried out through the medium of experimental games, very few of these have been directed at cross-cultural comparisons. This is a very important avenue for research, and the present thesis reports a series of gaming experiments carried out using college students in Canada and India.

This research has focused on two particular concerns. The first was the effect of time-limitation on bargaining behaviour in the two cultures, and the second was the motivational orientation with which students in Canada and India approach a situation in which both co-operation and competition can be rewarding. Since no relevant data on India behaviour existed prior to these studies, the research program was exploratory in nature.

The findings with regard to time-limitation indicated that Canadian males reacted to time-limits imposed by one of the bargainers in a manner which was consistent with the way North American males typically react to threats, that is, they became very competitive and resisted yielding. When the time-limits were imposed by the experimenter, however, this same group reacted in a co-operative manner. Canadian females and Indians, male and female, were all relatively co-operative, regardless of the source of time-limitation. Indian females, however, were more passive than the members of all other groups.

The experiments which were concerned with motivation involved male students only. Canadian males reacted to the various experimental conditions in a manner consistent with the motivation to maximize one's own gain while at the same time making as much or more than the other participant. Indians. however, were more competitive when each participant was ostensibly at an advantage, vis-a-vis the other, than when each was ostensibly at a disadvantage. This is the opposite to the way the Canadian reacted in these two situations. It was suggested that this behaviour on the part of the Indians might reflect a culturally defined mode of reaction to persons of relatively higher or lower "status".

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