Date Published: Nov 30, 2000
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
Tyler, T. R., Lind, E. A., & Huo, Y. J.
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The findings of 4 studies suggest that cultural values about power distance influence the way that people react to third-party authorities in a manner predicted by the relational model of authority (T. R. Tyler & E. A. Lind, 1992). Power-distance values reflect beliefs about the appropriate power relationship between authorities and their subordinates. As predicted, when making evaluations of authorities, those lower in their power-distance values placed more weight on the quality of their treatment by authorities. In contrast, those with higher power-distance values focused more strongly on the favorability of their outcomes. These findings suggest that the degree to which authorities can gain acceptance for themselves and their decisions through providing dignified, respectful treatment is influenced by the cultural values of the disputants. Informal “alternative” dispute resolution procedures, such as mediation, are more likely to be effective among those who have low power-distance values. (Journal abstract)