Decision making styles east and west: is it time to move beyond cross-cultural research?

Jac Brown, Ssekamanya Siraje Abdallah, Reuben Ng

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Cultural differences in decision making styles were explored using the conflict model of decision making (Janis and Mann, 1977). Six hundred and seventy three university students in Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore (Mean age of 20.2 years; SD=5.4) were tested on the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire (Mann, Burnett, Radford, and Ford, 1997) to explore cultural, gender, and age differences between these three countries. Vigilance scores were higher for Malaysian and Australian respondents compared to Singaporeans. Hyper-vigilance scores were higher for Malaysian while buckpassing and procrastination scores were lower for Malaysian than for Australian and Singaporean respondents. Women reported higher scores on hyper-vigilance than males for all three countries. However, buck-passing scores were significantly higher for women than men only for the Australian respondents. There were significant positive correlations between vigilant decision making and age, and significant negative correlations between non-vigilant decision making patterns and age. A country analysis indicated that these results were significant for the Australian and the Malaysian sample only. These results are discussed in terms of cultural differences, some of which are reflected in the Hofstede (2001) comparison of cultures on beliefs, values, and behaviours. Further research is suggested that may reflect aspects of the global shift towards more common patterns of thinking across culture, which is influenced by access to media and internet information, as well as increased travel and commerce in an attempt to understand how local decisions may have global impacts. Implications of this research suggest that culture may be too broad a concept and that other more sensitive variable should be examined when conducting cross-cultural research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)452-459
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational journal of sociology and anthropology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Decision making
    • vigilance
    • hyper-vigilance
    • procrastination
    • buck-passing
    • culture


    Dive into the research topics of 'Decision making styles east and west: is it time to move beyond cross-cultural research?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this