Poster F20, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Differential Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment in East Asians vs. Western Europeans
Ramiro Eduardo Rea Reyes1, Youngbin Kwak1, JaeHyung Kwon2, Jaeseung Jeaong2; 1University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Collectivist cultures tend to promote uniform behaviors whereas individualistic cultures tend to reward originality. We aimed to determine if people from a collectivist culture show higher sensitivity to avoid punishments (i.e. avoiding being wrong), compared to members from individualistic cultures. 27 European-Americans and 31 Koreans went through monetary (MID) and social incentive delay (SID) tasks. In them, participants pressed a button as fast as they could when a target was presented. Immediately before this, a cue was shown to inform the participants about each trial. Reward cues indicated that faster reaction time (RT) (faster than a threshold) to the target would result in positive outcomes (e.g. winning money or being presented with positive facial expressions). Punishment cues indicated that slower RT (slower than the threshold) would result in negative outcomes (e.g. losing money or being presented with negative facial expressions). Supra-threshold RTs in rewarding scenarios or sub-threshold RTs on punishment scenarios were followed by neutral outcomes ($0 or blurred face), meaning failure to win or success in avoiding punishment, respectively. Two levels (high vs. low) of reward and punishment were presented in both tasks. Our results showed that Korean were significantly faster than European-Americans when avoiding punishment in MID [F(1,56)=6.212, p=0.016; ηp2=0.10]. Also, Koreans showed significantly faster RTs in the high compared to low punishment scenarios in SID [F(1,56)=5.154, p=0.027; ηp2=0.084] while no significant differences were found in European-Americans. These results suggest that culture can have significant influence in processing of basic motivational process related with reward and punishment.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Other