(ORDO NEWS) — The researchers found that the cultural differences of people from different countries affect how they support family and friends in difficult situations. As an example, they took students of two different nationalities and cultures.
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A research team led by Associate Professor Hirofumi Hashimoto of the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Literature and Humanities.
Japan, analyzed the perspectives of social support providers to examine differences in the attitudes of Japanese and American students towards providing social support to loved ones, friends or family members. This is what distinguishes people of different cultures and nationalities.
Influence of culture and nationality
Initially, the researchers gave student volunteers questionnaires based on a previous study that interviewed 183 Japanese students and found that Japanese students were hesitant to provide social support unless a loved one explicitly asked for help.
To validate these results, a second survey of 118 additional Japanese and 52 American university students was conducted using a proven method to assess their willingness to help.
The results of the second survey confirmed that even when Japanese university students knew that someone close to them needed help, they were generally hesitant to offer help unless the person explicitly asked for them.
In contrast, US university students were often willing to offer help when they realized that someone close to them needed it, even if the relative didn’t openly say so.
Americans and Japanese
However, when requests for help were explicit, both Japanese and American students were equally likely to offer help.
“The results of our study show that the reason why the Japanese are hesitant to help others [immediately upon the fact of knowing] is not that they do not show empathy, but that these situations, when the request for help is unclear, cause hesitation. ”, Professor Hashimoto explained.
“Based on these findings, we need to consider ways to encourage the Japanese to provide assistance when they recognize the need for it.”
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