Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Joanna Schug

Committee Members

Michael Cronin

Meghan Sinton

Tomoko Kato


Previous research has shown cultural differences between Japan and the United States stem from differences in holistic vs. analytic cognition. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the socio-ecological factor relational mobility on social cognition in the form of causal attribution. Study 1 confirms previous research on differences across Western and East Asian causal attribution styles by finding higher perceptions of relational mobility and greater tendency toward dispositional attribution in the American participants, and lower relational mobility perception and more consistent situational attribution in Japanese participants. In Study 2, we prime American participants with high vs. low relational mobility and test for changes in causal attribution. Consistent with the predictions, high relational mobility was related to increased dispositional attribution and low relational mobility was related to increased situational attribution. Collectively, these studies show relational mobility is a socio-ecological factor of culture that correlates with causal attribution and can be manipulated to change perceptions of a social situation.

Keywords: Relational Mobility, Causal Attribution

On-Campus Access Only