Power and Intra-Societal Conflict Dataset

Published: 10 July 2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/kdyc2b8h87.1
Nan Zhu,
Skyler Hawk,
Judith Smetana


This study employed social domain theory to examine individuals’ evaluations of intra-societal conflicts (e.g., between individuals and larger social entities and involving competing moral versus societal concerns) and the influence of power and culture on these evaluations. U.S. (N = 92) and Chinese (N = 98) university students received high or low power priming and then evaluated hypothetical scenarios about different intra-societal conflicts. They rated the acceptability of actions, agreement with various justifications for these actions, and the appropriateness of third-party involvement. Regardless of power priming and cultural background, collective-societal justifications were associated with higher approval of collective infringement on individual rights and lower support for third-party involvement, whereas individual-moral justifications were associated with lower approval of collective actions, higher approval of individual actions, and higher support for third-party involvement. However, judgments and their association with justifications were also differently affected by power priming between the two cultures, with high-power U.S. and low-power Chinese participants showing lower support for third-party involvement based on collective-societal concerns. These results show the importance of going beyond a focus on homogeneous cultural orientations when examining judgments about societal conflict, and instead considering individuals’ social status and what status and power mean in their societies.