題目： Culturally ‘biased’ causal attributions as logical inferences: A view from the socio-ecological approach (論理的推論としての文化的原因帰属バイアス：社会生態学的アプローチの観点から)
氏名： 釜屋 健吾
Prior research has revealed cross-cultural variations in causal attribution. That is, East Asians tend to make less internal attribution and more external attribution, whereas the opposite is true for North Americans. Conventionally, these cross-cultural variations are explained by psychological concepts peculiar to North America and East Asia such as analytic/holistic thinking style and independent/interdependent view of self. However, there are two major problems in these explanations. First, they are not applicable to cultural differences in causal attribution other than these two cultures. Second, these explanations use circular logic in that one abstract psychological concept (thinking style or view of self) explains the difference in another psychological tendency (causal attribution).This is problematic because the independent and dependent variables are too similar, and it is difficult to ascertain whether one causes the other. Also, explaining one cultural difference with a second cultural difference says nothing about why the differences exist in the first place. Consequently, these explanations do not address questions about the origin of the cross-cultural variations in causal attribution.
My current research aims to overcome these shortcomings in the conventional explanations by adopting the socio-ecological approach. This approach regards cross-cultural variations in psychological tendencies as tools tailored towered different socio-ecological environments. By bridge logically between the structure of socio-ecological environment and the psychological tendencies of the people who reside there, it is possible to construct a generalizeable theory that explains why and how causal attribution varies between societies. In the current research, it is hypothesized that the cross-cultural variations in causal attribution are explained by a socio-ecological factor about the degree to which one is living in a context where there are many opportunities to form new relationships, called relational mobility. Furthermore, it is interpreted that culturally-bounded causal attribution is not “biased” but rather ecologically valid cognition in that it reflects the factors which actually determine behaviors in a given society. Specifically, strong social constraints exist in societies low in relational mobility, and behaviors are in fact determined by actors’ external factors. On the other hands, social constraints are weaker in societies high in relational mobility, and as such behaviors reflect actors’ internal factors.
Two studies confirmed this hypothesis. Study 1 employed a cross-cultural comparison and confirmed that the difference in the endorsement of dispositionism (the belief that the stability and consistency of personality is determined and predicts human social behavior) between Canadians and Japanese was fully mediated by the difference in levels of relational mobility between these two cultures. Given that relational mobility is an actual determinant of these cross-cultural variations, the same difference should be observed within a single culture, when comparing between social contexts differing in levels of relational mobility. Accordingly, as a conceptual replication of the findings of Study 1, Study 2 demonstrated that even within Japan, participants who perceived their environment to be more relationally mobile had a stronger tendency to make internal attributions (both in causal judgments about daily-life events and the endorsement of dispositionism) than those who perceived their environment to be less mobile (Study 2). Finally, the effectiveness of considering socio-ecological factors when interpreting cultural differences in social cognition is discussed.