UNF Psychology Professor Reveals How Patient Certain Cultures are

Tristan Reyes

UNF Psychology professor, Dominik Guess, conducted a study regarding patience in everyday life.  The study revealed the cultural differences between people from France, Germany and Romania, when they get impatient and how they react. Guess worked with colleagues from the University of Bamberg, Claus-Christian Carbon and Astrid Schütz along with Bamberg’s psychology undergraduate students, Katrin Wanninger, Doris Hauth, and Franziska Witch. He was attending the Marie-Curie fellowship here and came up with the study with his colleagues.

Profesor Dominik Guess in Germany. Photo courtesy Dominik Guess

800 people from both small and large cities were observed in three daily life situations such as waiting at an ATM machine, standing in a supermarket line, and listening to a long phone survey. The ATMs and supermarket lines were prolonged due to clumsy behavior caused by the researchers while the phone survey was made with prolonged explanations.

According to the study, Germans seemed the most patient at ATM machines compared to French and Romans due to the fact that they left more often. Despite this Germans showed anger during the supermarket situation and impatience during the telephone survey. Germans appeared more patient with technical difficulties at the ATM but were impatient in social interactions.

The Germans being more patient was surprising says Guess. The countries chosen were based on the pace-of-life hypothesis where people with slower paces of life have more patience. According to the study, Germany’s pace of life was fast, France was medium, and Romania was slow. The hypothesis did not work with the study as the French and Romanians appeared to be more impatient compared to Germans.

Guess says the study is beneficial to study-abroad students who are not aware of different cultural attitudes.

“It not generally acceptable in America to show anger in such a way. It may be more acceptable to express anger in other countries so if someone were to express anger in your presence, it may not mean they are angry towards the person but the situation,” said Guess.

The full results can be found in the Journal of Cross-Psychology website here.

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