Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Psychology


The aim of the present series of studies was to examine the attributions that Australian and Asian subjects use to explain wealth as well as to compare their economic beliefs. Study I sought to explore several important theoretical and practical issues in the way lay explanations of wealth are made, according to Forgas, Morris and Fumham's (1982) study. Study I also tested the hypothesis that culture plays a crucial role in causal factors of lay attributions for wealth by comparing subjects from an individualistic society (Australia) and subjects from collectivist societies (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan). The results supported findings from previous studies that used muhidimensional explanatory categories for weahh; social/external, individual/internal and fatalistic explanations. Although the results did not show any statistically significant differences between Australian and Asian subjects, there were some differences evident in each group's unique explanations for wealth (taken within each category of the multidimensional explanations).