Sawaumi et al. (2015)

Sawaumi, T. (澤海崇文), Yamaguchi, S. (山口勧), Park, J., & Robinson, A. R. (2015).
Japanese control strategies regulated by urgency and interpersonal harmony: Evidence based on extended conceptual framework.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(2), 252-268.
doi: 10.1177/0022022114563749
People use control strategies to improve their physical as well as interpersonal situations. Previous research has maintained that Japanese, compared to North Americans, are more oriented toward secondary control (changing oneself) than primary control (changing one’s circumstances) (e.g., Weisz, Rothbaum, & Blackburn, 1984). On the other hand, Heckhausen and Schulz’s (1995) work suggests dominance of primary control over secondary control across cultures. The conflicting views regarding Japanese control orientations are reconciled by considering situational variation. Based on an extended framework of primary control (Yamaguchi, 2001), two empirical studies examined the alternative hypothesis that control orientation would be affected by perceived urgency and concern about harmony maintenance. Study 1 employed open-ended questions (N = 171) to validate the extended primary control taxonomy, and revealed that participants’ control orientations were influenced by their subjective urgency of control and perceived difficulty in maintaining interpersonal harmony. Study 2 (N = 246) replicated the latter results with Likert scale ratings. These results support the extended framework of primary control and identify two situational predictors of control orientation.