Responses of Taiwanese graduate students to favor requestsfrom different social targets (peer vs. superior) werecompared across two scenarios. Factors inﬂuencing thedecision to accept or reject the request were also explored.When the favor request was consistent with the relationalcontext (academic research), participants were more likely toaccept the request from a professor than from a classmate.Those who accepted the professor’s request were more likelyto report authority-oriented reasons. When the content of thefavor request was inconsistent with the relational context,participants tended to reject the request from both a pro-fessor and a classmate. Those who rejected the professor’srequest reported more self-assertive reasons for theirdecision. Although participants rated Rational Reciprocity asthe most important factor in making their decision, inter-personal closeness seemed to be a major concern in decidingto do a favor for a peer. Social interactions for acquaintancesin a Confucian society are inﬂuenced by Confucian ethicsadvocating the principle of respecting the superior and theprinciple of favoring the intimate, rather than solely by theprinciple of social exchange.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 22(2), pp.283-294