Cultural beliefs about societal change: A three-mode principal component analysis in China, Australia, and Japan

Bain, Paul G., Kroonenberg, Pieter M., & Kashima, Yoshihisa (2015) Cultural beliefs about societal change: A three-mode principal component analysis in China, Australia, and Japan. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 46(5), pp. 635-651.

View at publisher


People’s beliefs about where society has come from and where it is going have personal and political consequences. Here, we conduct a detailed investigation of these beliefs through re-analyzing Kashima et al.’s (Study 2, n = 320) data from China, Australia, and Japan. Kashima et al. identified a “folk theory of social change” (FTSC) belief that people in society become more competent over time, but less warm and moral. Using three-mode principal components analysis, an under-utilized analytical method in psychology, we identified two additional narratives: Utopianism/Dystopianism (people becoming generally better or worse over time) and Expansion/Contraction (an increase/decrease in both positive and negative aspects of character over time). Countries differed in endorsement of these three narratives of societal change. Chinese endorsed the FTSC and Utopian narratives more than other countries, Japanese held Dystopian and Contraction beliefs more than other countries, and Australians’ narratives of societal change fell between Chinese and Japanese. Those who believed in greater economic/technological development held stronger FTSC and Expansion/Contraction narratives, but not Utopianism/Dystopianism. By identifying multiple cultural narratives about societal change, this research provides insights into how people across cultures perceive their social world and their visions of the future.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 83116
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social cognition, social change, beliefs, measurement/statistics
DOI: 10.1177/0022022115578005
ISSN: 1552-5422
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Change (160805)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 08 Apr 2015 23:00
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2015 01:07

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page