Chinese & European Mentality Study

PRESS RELEASE Motivaction International

Amsterdam, Thursday March 20



The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, is visiting various European countries in the coming days in order to reinforce relations between China and Europe. Knowledge of cultural differences is a key ingredient for a successful cooperation between trade partners. The Motivaction research agency conducted an extensive study in December 2013 and January 2014 among more than 20,000 Europeans and Chinese in order to detail cultural differences in the areas of lifestyle, leisure and value orientations. This press release is a scoop of the first results of this study.

Chinese like traditional, country and classical music, Europeans like rock music

The study shows that Europeans more often than Chinese work in the garden, read a book or a newspaper, take care of pets, visit family and friends and travel to other countries. Europeans indicate more frequently that they do "nothing" in their spare time. Chinese spend their time more often singing, shopping, playing computer games and riding bikes. There are also clear differences in musical preferences. Europeans listen more often to rock, reggae, R&B and soul, while Chinese have a greater preference for traditional, classical and country music. Pop music is  the most popular music genre in China as well as in Europe.

Chinese more focused on getting ahead and standing out

There are clear differences to be pointed out in the motivations of Europeans and Chinese. Upward mobility is much more important for Chinese than for Europeans. Europeans indicate much less often than Chinese that they feel they are part of a working class. Chinese believe more often than Europeans that changes lead to improvement and they like to stand out more. Europeans think more often that cooperation leads to better results than competition, while Chinese think more often that competition leads to better results.

Chinese think you may enjoy something only when you have earned it

Chinese think more often than Europeans that you may enjoy something only when you have earned it, while Europeans think more often that you may also enjoy something without having earned it. Chinese believe more often than Europeans that buying new things is one of the most enjoyable  things in life. Europeans indicate more often than Chinese that people think too little about what is really important in life.

Chinese believe in destiny and say the father should be the head of the household

Europeans think much less often than Chinese that the father is supposed to be the boss at home and think more often that it should have to be possible for an unmarried couple to live together. Europeans are also less proud of their country's flag than Chinese. Europeans say more often than Chinese to always be open to people with a different religion or philosophy of life. Chinese believe more often than Europeans in a fate that you cannot change.


About the study

Motivaction International conducted an in-depth study in 20 countries in December 2013 and January 2014 regarding values, trends, lifestyles  and consumer behaviour. A total of more than 46,000 respondents were interviewed using online questionnaires in the context of this Mentality International study. The surveys samples are representative of the populations from 18 to 65 years  and weighted according to census data regarding education, age, gender and region. The survey sample in China is comprised of 2,662 respondents. The combined survey samples in Europe are comprised of a total of 17,606 respondents in Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK. These countries incorporate 75% of all EU inhabitants.


About Motivaction International

Motivaction International has more than 30 years of experience as market research agency and has a great deal of knowledge about what drives people. We offer qualitative and quantitative research that provides insight into how the international market and societies are changing. From that research, we advise clients about marketing  and management issues.

Survey results Mentality International for press publications




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