Between- or within-culture variation? Culture group as a moderator of the relations between individual differences and resource allocation preferences

Gustavo Carlo, Scott C. Roesch, George P. Knight, Silvia H. Koller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


Recent theoretical discussion of the influence of between- and within-culture factors on social behaviors suggests that both approaches may be useful. The present study was designed to investigate the joint influence of sociocultural (between-group) and individual (within-group) factors on resource allocation preferences. Brazilian (n = 166) and European-American (n = 99) children with ages ranging from 37 to 140 months were administered a resource allocation task, which consisted of distributing rewards to themselves or to an acquaintance. As expected, individualistic resource allocation preferences decreased with age, whereas competitive and cooperative resource allocation preferences increased with age. Culture group, the task-specific cognitive demands, and the gender of the child, however, moderated these age differences. For example, gender differences in resource allocation preferences were stronger among Brazilians as compared to European-Americans and stronger in the reduced cognitive demand condition. Models of cooperative and competitive behaviors that consider the role of culture group, gender, and cognitive development and applied implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-579
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001



  • Competition
  • Cooperation
  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Prosocial behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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