Cross-Cultural Differences in Strategies of Peer Persuasion of Hebrew-Speaking and Arabic-Speaking Children

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
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  • 1 Professor Emerita, School of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

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Abstract

The purpose of the current research was to examine strategies of persuasion used by Arabic-speaking and Hebrew-speaking boys and girls to determine the relative contributions of culture and gender in determining communication styles. Children were asked to write a letter to a male or female peer asking for a gender-stereotyped or a gender-neutral gift. Four meta-categories were identified: formality, self-focus, other-focus, and gift-focus. For each meta-category except gift-focus, there were significant main effects and interactions. Language group was significant for formality and other-focus but not for self-focus. Importantly, there were several interactions between participant gender, target gender, and gender-stereotypy of gift, but these did not interact with language group. The results were discussed in the context of children’s socialization to the ethos of musayara and dugri in Arabic-speaking and Hebrew-speaking culture.

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