Social Justice Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 52–75 | Cite as

Counter Cross-Cultural Priming and Relative Deprivation: The Role of Individualism–Collectivism

  • Kees van den Bos
  • Tanja S. van Veldhuizen
  • Al K. C. Au


This paper uses cross-cultural comparisons and comparisons obtained by experimental manipulation to examine how cultural and contextual factors influence responses to personal and group relative deprivation. Two studies were conducted, one in an individualistic country (The Netherlands) and one in a collectivistic country (Singapore). One way to examine the influence of the assumed cultural differences in individualism–collectivism is to assign participants to the conditions that elicit “countercultural” psychological states, that is, conditions that prime collectivistic mindsets in the Netherlands and individualistic mindsets in Singapore. Results show that cross-cultural differences have reliable effects on responses to relative deprivation and gratification. Furthermore, findings in the countercultural (experimental) conditions meaningfully differed from those observed in the control conditions in which participants were exposed to neutral stimulus materials. This suggests that cultural mindsets are not fixed, and that countercultural priming can be used to study cross-cultural and contextual differences with high levels of internal validity.


Relative deprivation Individualism Collectivism Cross-cultural differences Contextual differences Experimental control Countercultural priming 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kees van den Bos
    • 1
  • Tanja S. van Veldhuizen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Al K. C. Au
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, Faculty of LawMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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