Cross-cultural exploration of honor: perception of honor in Germany, Pakistan, and South Korea

Author Affiliation

Gulnaz Anjum is Assistant Professor of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts at Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Was this content written or created while at IBA?


Document Type


Source Publication

Psychological Studies




The present paper explores the significance of Honor in the context of group dynamics underlying human behavior across three cultures, Germany, Pakistan, and South Korea. While earlier studies on Honor have focused on the negative connotations of Honor, the effects of these still remain as critical as ever. In this paper, Honor is defined as an assignment of recognition for being a member of a prestigious group where members of Honor group are obliged to follow their group’s Honor-code; not sticking to the Honor-code threatens reputation and instigates condemnation. To explore this assumption three studies were conducted: A Pilot Study, Study 1, and Study 2. The Pilot Study socially situates different groups in the assignment of Honor. Based on the findings of the Pilot Study, high Honor group (medical doctors) was chosen as a protagonist group for the studies that follow. Study 1 explores the effects of an Honor-code-related factor and an Honor-code unrelated factor in a vignette-based experiment. Loss of Honor, assessed in terms of an outsider perspective on Honor, is seen as an outcome of the violation of the Honor-code in three countries (Germany/Pakistan/South Korea). Study 2 further explores the effects of Honor-code violations from an insider perspective. The findings of Study 2 showed that the effects of Honor-code violation were stronger than outsider’s perspective. It is concluded that Honor may have a functional role in regulating the prestige of a group via outsiders’ and insiders’ monitoring of adherence to Honor-codes.

Indexing Information

HJRS - Y Category, Scopus, Web of Science - Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)

Publication Status