Patience in Everyday Life: Three Field Studies in France, Germany, and Romania
Patience is a highly relevant virtue in daily life. Yet patience has not yet been studied systematically across cultures. The aim of this study is to investigate three competing hypotheses. Based on the pace-of-life hypothesis, individuals that reside in countries with slower paces of life will be most patient. Based on the self-regulation hypothesis, countries with a strong emphasis on self-regulation will be most patient. Based on the situation-specific-patience-behavior hypothesis, patience will vary among situations. We observed patience in a total of 835 persons within three situations in France, Germany, and Romania in the capitals as well as in a small city in each: (a) waiting at an ATM machine, (b) waiting in a supermarket line, and (c) tolerating a lengthy telephone survey introduction. City size, gender, and age did not affect the amount of time that elapsed before signs of impatience were manifested. People in Germany were the most patient in the ATM situation, which supports the self-regulation hypothesis. No significant country differences were found for the two other situations. There was no evidence for the pace-of-life hypothesis, though the results did support the notion that patience is situation-specific because impatient behaviors and the time that elapsed prior to their display, differed among situations. The kind of reactions exhibited in the waiting situations differed across cultures, indicating culture-specific ways to cope with impatience. Results have applications to various fields of psychology. Moreover, they can aid in improving tolerance and understanding when individuals are forced to wait in other countries.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Güss, Hauth, D., Wiltsch, F., Carbon, C.-C., Schütz, A., & Wanninger, K. (2018). Patience in Everyday Life: Three Field Studies in France, Germany, and Romania. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 49(3), 355–380. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022117735077