This study brings together three institutional pillars that represent values in four East Asian societies – China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam – traditional philosophies, economic orientation, and religiosity/spirituality – where previous literature examined these values domains separately and independently. In the process, we challenge the more traditional approaches to measuring values, and testing for differences and similarities among cultural groups. Personal values, by definition, are important influences on behaviour, but some values are more important than others. The appropriate measure for relative influence is an ipsative measure rather than a normative measure, such as a Likert scale. Contrary to conclusions drawn from null-hypothesis significance tests, we show that the four societies have similar perceptions of Capitalism and Modernization, and have small differences on most other dimensions. We show that measures of effect size and “inter-ocular testing” (looking at the data) produce more nuanced interpretations of divergence and convergence in the Confucian Orbit.
- Economic orientation
- Inter-ocular test with effect sizes
- Traditional philosophies