Offensive and Defensive Strategies: Comparing East and West
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The present study examined 413 Euro-Canadians and 480 Chinese over four studies on their preferences for offensive and defensive strategies. Past research has demonstrated that East Asians think more nonlinearly and are more prevention focused, whereas North Americans think more linearly and are more promotion focused. Based on these cultural differences, I predicted that East Asians would prefer defensive strategies more than North Americans would, whereas North Americans would prefer offensive strategies more than East Asians would. I also hypothesized that the effect of culture on preferences for strategies would be mediated by regulatory focus, and that Chinese would endorse more nonlinear beliefs about offense and defense, whereas Canadians would endorse more linear beliefs about them. However, across various scenarios/domains - sports and martial arts (Study 1a), marketing and negotiation (Study 1b and 1c), Chinese were found to prefer offensive strategies more than Canadians did, whereas Canadians preferred defensive strategies more than Chinese did. These cultural differences in their self-reported preferences were not reflected in the strategic moves they made in the behavioural game played in Study 2. In addition, promotion focus did not mediate the relationship between culture and preference for offense, and prevention focus did not mediate the relationship between culture and preference for defense. Nonetheless, Canadians were more likely to endorse linear beliefs more than Chinese did, whereas Chinese were more likely to endorsed non-linear beliefs about offense and defense more than Canadians did.