Misconceptions about human behavior: A cross-cultural study among students in Thailand and the United States
H.W. Gardiner & J. Wohl
The purpose of the present investigation was twofold-(1) an examination of the extent to which a number of commonly stated, but scientifically unproved beliefs, are accepted by individuals and (2) a comparison of responses concerning such beliefs for two diverse cultural groups. 173 Thai and 117 American students responded to a specially designed belief questionnaire consisting of 30 items. Results indicate that misconceptions about human behavior occur in both cultures, although there is greater tendency among Thai students to accept many of these ideas. The American group accepted four items to a greater degree than did the Thai, but the Thai students accepted as true fourteen more statements than did their American counterparts. Emphasis is given to an analysis and discussion of those statements which statistically differentiate one cultural group from the other. Implications of such research for further understanding of human behavior from a cross-cultural perspective are presented.