In Confucian societies, one who has any achievement always basking his/her Big Self, especially his/her parents. However, since the Eastern cultures value Vertical Distinctiveness (VD) more than Horizontal Distinctiveness (HD), it is very possible that parents would feel more glorious (having more face) when their children achieve VD than HD and might have very different reactions when their children achieve VD rather than HD.
Using scenario experimental method, 269 high school students’ parents in Taiwan (Taipei) participated in this study and were randomly assigned into a version of scenarios describing their child achieved in winning either a VD (national scientific contest) or a HD (national singing contest). The results showed that while the parents of VD would encourage their child to devote time to preparing for the contest; parents of HD would be more possible to complain that their child might spend too much time on preparing this contest instead of studying. Furthermore, comparing to HD, when the achievement of their child was a VD, parents not only felt having more face, but also would be more likely to encourage their children to pursue their career in this field and felt the achievement was more matched their expectation to their child as well. Parents would feel more sorry if their children develop the future in the field of their HD.
The Asian Conference on Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences 2013 – Official Conference Proceedings ,pp.101-115