Need for approval from others and face concerns as predictors of interpersonal conflict outcome in 29 cultural groups

Vivian Miu‐Chi LUN, Peter B. SMITH*, Lusine GRIGORYAN, Claudio TORRES, Antonia PAPASTYLIANOU, Olga G. LOPUKHOVA, Diane SUNAR, Matthew J. EASTERBROOK, Yasin KOC, Heyla A. SELIM, Phatthanakit CHOBTHAMKIT, Trawin CHALEERAKTRAKOON, Pelin GUL, Lorena PEREZ-FLORIANO, Rolando DIAZ-LOVING, Catherine T. KWANTES, Masaki YUKI, Natsuki OGUSU, Yvette VAN OSCH, Maria Luisa MENDES TEXEIRAPing HU, Ammar ABBAS, Doriana TRIPODI, Siugmin LAY, Maria EFREMOVA, Bushra HASSAN, Abd Halim AHMAD, Ahmed AL-BAYATI, Joel ANDERSON, Susan E. CROSS, Gisela Isabel DELFINO, Vladimer GAMSAKHURDIA, Alin GAVRELIUC, Dana GAVRELIUC, Ceren GUNSOY, Paola Eunice DÍAZ RIVERA, Anna HAKOBJANYAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The extent to which culture moderates the effects of need for approval from others on a person's handling of interpersonal conflict was investigated. Students from 24 nations rated how they handled a recent interpersonal conflict, using measures derived from face-negotiation theory. Samples varied in the extent to which they were perceived as characterised by the cultural logics of dignity, honour, or face. It was hypothesised that the emphasis on harmony within face cultures would reduce the relevance of need for approval from others to face-negotiation concerns. Respondents rated their need for approval from others and how much they sought to preserve their own face and the face of the other party during the conflict. Need for approval was associated with concerns for both self-face and other-face. However, as predicted, the association between need for approval from others and concern for self-face was weaker where face logic was prevalent. Favourable conflict outcome was positively related to other-face and negatively related to self-face and to need for approval from others, but there were no significant interactions related to prevailing cultural logics. The results illustrate how particular face-threatening factors can moderate the distinctive face-concerns earlier found to characterise individualistic and collectivistic cultural groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-271
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work of ME was supported by the framework of the HSE Basic Research Program, Moscow. The work of OGL was supported by the Kazan Federal University Strategic Academic Leadership Program (PRIORITY‐2030).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. International Journal of Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Union of Psychological Science.


  • Cross-cultural studies
  • Cultural logic
  • Face
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Personality
  • Self-construal


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