Face saving in Chinese culture: a discussion and experimental study of Hong Kong students

Author

Bond, Michael Harris

Lee, Peter, W. H.

TitleFace saving in Chinese culture: a discussion and experimental study of Hong Kong students
PublisherSocial Research Center, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Publication DateJanuary, 1978
Pages:29
Keywords:

National characteristics, Chinese

Social interaction

Social life and customs

Abstract/ Concluding Remarks:

This report begins with an overview of Chinese and Western discussions of the concept of face, focusing on face-saving and the functions it serves in social interaction. Based upon this introduction an experiment is proposed and then described. The experiment explored whether judges would modify their criticism of a fellow student's speech when the speaker's face was vulnerable to varying degrees. One hundred male and female subjects were convened in same-sex groups of five, with one member randomly selected as speaker. Evaluations of the speech were made under four conditions by the four remaining subjects: when evaluations would not be seen by the speaker, when evaluations would be read by the speaker in private, when evaluations would be read by the judge to the speaker in private, when evaluations would be read by the judge to the speaker in front of an audience. Both rating scales and unstructured comments were scored as dependent variables. On both measures of criticism differences were found across conditions for the average level of criticism per response. An analysis of these differences showed the speaker-uninformed condition as yielding responses of higher criticism than the informed-audience condition. The construct of empathy was proposed to explain the linear pattern of results across the four conditions.

NoteBibliography: p. 25-26
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