Negotiable Fate: Social Ecological Foundation and Psychological Functions

Evelyn W.M. Au, Chi yue Chiu, Zhi Xue Zhang, Lee Ann Mallorie, Avinish Chaturvedi, Madhu Viswanathan, Krishna Savani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Individuals can negotiate with fate for control through exercising personal agency within the limits that fate has determined, a belief that is referred to as negotiable fate. The current study examined: (a) the social ecological factors that contribute to the prevalence of this belief in negotiable fate and; (b) the psychological functions it serves. The results from a cross-cultural study suggested that negotiable fate is more prevalent in contexts where individuals face many constraints in the pursuit of their goals (i.e., in Mainland China versus the United States), and it promotes active coping and positive self-views in those contexts. The importance of understanding how fate beliefs are linked to sociocultural contexts was discussed in reference to the psychological control literature and cultural psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-942
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • constraints
  • cultural psychology
  • fate belief
  • implicit theories
  • sociocultural contexts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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  • Cite this

    Au, E. W. M., Chiu, C. Y., Zhang, Z. X., Mallorie, L. A., Chaturvedi, A., Viswanathan, M., & Savani, K. (2012). Negotiable Fate: Social Ecological Foundation and Psychological Functions. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43(6), 931-942.