To what extent do culture-related factors influence university students' critical thinking use?

Emmanuel Manalo*, Takashi Kusumi, Masuo Koyasu, Yasushi Michita, Yuko Tanaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This study sought to elucidate some aspects of the relationship between culture and critical thinking by examining whether a number of culture-related factors might relate to university students' reported use of critical thinking. The participants were 363 undergraduate university students from Kyoto and Okinawa in Japan, and Auckland in New Zealand. They completed a questionnaire that assessed critical thinking use and the following factors: study self-efficacy, regulatory mode (assessment/locomotion), and self-construal (independence/interdependence). Critical thinking use was found to correlate with study self-efficacy, locomotion, assessment, and independent self-construal. The Auckland students scored higher than both Japanese student groups in those factors, except for assessment (in which the groups did not differ). In contrast, the Okinawa students scored higher than the other two groups in interdependent self-construal. No differences were found between the groups on reported critical thinking use. A model, which produced an acceptable fit to the data, is proposed in which self-construal influences regulatory mode and study self-efficacy, and these in turn influence critical thinking. Together, these findings suggest that culture-related factors (self-construal, regulatory mode, self-efficacy) do influence students' critical thinking use, but that differences in those factors need not necessarily equate to locational group differences in critical thinking use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec


  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural influences
  • Self-construal
  • Self-regulatory modes
  • University students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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