Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Carey S. Ryan


This research examined cross-cultural differences in group perceptions. Specifically, it examined the relative importance of the properties underlying perceived entitativity and the influence of entitativity on group autonomy beliefs among American and Japanese college students. Group properties were divided into two categories: essence properties and dynamic properties. Essence properties included similarities in group members’ physical characteristics, background, and personality traits. Dynamic properties included commonality in goals, outcomes, and cooperation among members. It was found that both American and Japanese people’s perceptions of entitativity were higher when essence and dynamic properties were high. However, essence properties were more strongly related to entitativity in the U.S. than in Japan, whereas dynamic properties were equally related. It was also found that the relationship between perceived group entitativity and perceived group autonomy depended on culture. Group autonomy beliefs were stronger and more strongly related to entitativity in the U.S. than in Japan.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree Psychology, M.A., University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Koichi Kurebayashi, 2006