Right or Wrong here, there, everywhere

Right or Wrong here, there, everywhere

Consider the following behaviours, and then judge:

a) whether they are right or wrong according to your values (first column);
b) whether they can be judged right or wrong in cultures different from yours (second column);
c) whether they would be right or wrong independently from cultural choices.

In a school, a girl drew a picture. One of the classmates came, took it and tore it. (AW – BW)  

Two people applied for a job. One of them was a relative of the interviewer. Because they were relatives, he was given the job although the other man did better on the exam. (AW – BW)   

A man had a wife who was sterile. He wanted to have two wives. He asked his first wife and she said she did not mind. So he married a second woman and the three of them lived happily in the same house. (AD – BNW)   

A letter arrived addressed to a fourteen-years-old son. Before the boy returned home, his father opened the letter and read it. (AW – BD)   

A letter arrived addressed to a fourteen-years-old son.  Before the boy returned home, his father opened the letter and read it. (AW – BD)   

A father told his son to steal flowers from his neighbour’s garden. The boy did it. (AW – BW)   

A beggar was begging from house to house with his wife and sick child. A homeowner drove him away without giving him anything (AD – BNW)

There was a rule in a hotel: Invalid and disfigured persons are not allowed in the dining hall. (AW – BW) 

A man had a married son and a married daughter. After his death, his son claimed most of the property. His daughter got a little. (AW – BNW)   

Immediately after marriage, a son was asked by his parents to live in the same house with them. The son said he wanted to live alone with his wife and that he and his wife decided to live in another town and  search for work there. (ANW – BD)   

A boy played football out of school. The teacher told the boy’s father and the father warned the boy not to do it again. But  the boy did it again and the father beat him. (AW – BNW)   

You went to a movie. There was a long line in front of the ticket window. You broke into line and stood at the front. (AW – BW)   

A young married woman went alone to see a movie without informing her husband. When she returned home, her husband said: “If you do it again, I will beat you black and blue”. She did it again; he beat her. (AW – BNW)   

Once a doctor’s daughter met a garbage man, fell in love with him and decided to marry him. The father of the girl opposed the marriage and tried to stop it because the boy was a garbage man. In spite of the opposition from the father, the girl married the garbage man; (ANW – BW)   

A poor man went to the hospital after being seriously hurt in an accident. At the hospital, they refused to treat him because he could not afford to pay. (AW – BW)  

Six months after the death of her husband, the widow wore jewellery and bright-coloured clothes. (ANW – BW)   

A father said to his son: “If you do well on the exam, I will buy you a pen”. The son did well on the exam, but his father did not give him anything. (AW – BW)  


AW =Wrong for Americans;
ANW =Not wrong for Americans;
AD=Americans dissent among them.

BW=Wrong for Brahmans;
BNW=Not wrong for Brahmans;
BD=Brahmans dissent among them.

Source: Shweder et al. (1991) – Reduced

Senest opdateret den

27 februar 2015


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