News reporting in the West and the East: content analysis of attribution style in American and Japanese newspapers

Date
2004-01-01
Authors
Nagaoka, Takayuki
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Altmetrics
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Abstract

In many Western cultures, where an individual is perceived as a unique, independent entity and as separate from others and social contexts, people are inclined to explain others' behavior it terms of the actor's personal dispositions. In contrast, in East Asian cultures, where an individual is viewed as related and connected to others in society, people are more likely to place an emphasis on situations and contexts in explaining others' behavior. The present study examined cultural differences in attribution style in newspaper accounts of social events. Content analysis of the New York Times and the Yomiuri Shimbun revealed no evidence of cultural differences in attribution style in the coverage of youth crime and media scandals between the two newspapers; however, a significant difference in dispositional attributions emerged in the coverage of adult crime, indicating that American newspapers are more likely to make dispositional attributions than Japanese newspapers in depicted adult crime news.

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Journalism and mass communication
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