The current research examined differences in career decision-making profiles (CDMP) between American and Chinese university students, as well as the mediating mechanisms possibly underlying these cultural differences. The results of a survey among American (n = 929) and Chinese (n = 945) undergraduates showed that Chinese participants scored significantly higher on consulting with others, desire to please others, willingness to compromise, dependence on others, and procrastination, but lower on aspiration for an ideal occupation, internal locus of control, and effort invested in career decision-making than did the American participants. Using a model based on self-construals and subjective cultural norms, we established that interdependent self-construal, independent self-construal, and the perceived individualism-collectivism norm operative in the respondents’ nation served as important mediators of the relationship between culture and endorsement of the dimensions of the CDMP. Moreover, based on the model of cultural tightness-looseness, the results provided partial support for the prediction that individuals’ personal cultural orientations (e.g., self-construals) served as stronger predictors for CDMP among the American participants than among the Chinese, whereas the perceived cultural norm served as a stronger predictor for CDMP among the Chinese participants than the Americans. The current research provides implications for career decision-making in different cultural groups and suggests the operation of differential mechanisms involved in reaching career decisions across societies varying in individualism-collectivism.
- career decision-making profiles
- cultural tightness-looseness
- individualism-collectivism norm
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies