This study examined underlying mechanisms of cultural variations in giving advice between American and Chinese college students by assuming a belief framework specified in the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). American (N = 289) and Chinese college students (N = 227) first completed belief-based measures of attitudes and subjective norms of giving advice, and later completed measures of behavioral intentions of giving advice. Results revealed that there were similarities as well as noteworthy cultural differences with respect to ratings of the TRA components and strengths of associations between attitudes, subjective norms, and intentions. The TRA model showed relatively stronger prediction for giving advice intentions for Chinese than it did for Americans. A belief framework specified by the TRA demonstrated stronger power to capture finer cultural variations in giving advice as a form of support provision.
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Informed by the TRA and existing research, H1 predicted positive associations between attitudes and intentions of giving advice (H1a) and between subjective norms and intentions of giving advice (H1b). Multiple samples structural equation modeling (MSEM) procedures were performed to assess H1. Within the American model, the pathway from attitudes to behavioral intentions of giving advice was significant (β = 0.26, p < .05). This was not true for the Chinese model; attitudes of giving advice did not significantly predict intentions of giving advice (β= 0.10, p = .32). Thus, H1a was partially supported. Within the American model, the pathway from subjective norms to intentions of giving advice was not significant (β= 0.15, p = .19). However, in the Chinese model, subjective norms of giving advice significantly predicted intentions of giving advice (β= 0.44, p < .001). Thus H1b was partially supported.
© 2013, © The Author(s) 2013.
- behavioral intention
- giving advice
- subjective norm