The Mirror Made from Made Decisions

What better reflects than a collection of actions? How we respond, what we create, these are the meters by which many of us measure ourselves. My question is: what can decisions show us?
Specifically, how do differences in judgment highlight the traits of a culture? As I touched on before, I am the product of two cultures, and any child who shares my placement knows the differences do not stop at language and clothes. Culture is a way of life, and a way of thinking. And every school of thought has it’s own, individual problem solving procedure. The process of reaching a decision is hard to record in the way dreams are hard to remember. However, by examining the results, we can begin to build a path backwards. With careful consideration, a fading sentiment becomes a many-chaptered journey.


Cultural Influences

In AP Psychology, something that has consistently come up is cultural influences. The general consensus amongst the experts is that culture plays a significant role in the social science. This isn’t too surprising to me, having grown up with concentrated exposure to two cultures; culture pervades every aspect of one’s life, most of all one’s thinking. However, I’d like to investigate the extent to which it affects us, specifically decision-making. Out of curiosity and personal interest, I’ve begun researching how culture affects decision-making.

Culture and Individual Judgment and Decision Making, a paper by Weber and Hsee, was an excellent starting point. It’s a review of past research on the cross-cultural psychology and decision-making. They focus on four main categories: risk perception, risk preference, probability judgment, and modes of decision. The two noted a correlation between cultural expectations or values and differences in decision making processes. I’m excited to examine and incorporate this paper into my own research.

Going more in depth, I found an article: “The Effects of Culture on Decision Making and Judgment”. This article was more focused– it acknowledged the trend Weber and Hsee observed and introduced a study conducted in Hong Kong. The study indicates the extent to which culture influences decisions depends on the situation; effects also depend on how much the perceptions of the culture are called to mind given the situations. Essentially, cultural influence depends on how closely tied the situation is to the specific culture’s values.

Evidently, I have more research to do, but I’m getting more excited the more focused my research becomes.