What science says:
Psychology of the Thai People - Values and Behavioral Patterns
In what ever online discussion site one looks, comments on Thais, their values, work approach, smile, and behavior in public and private settings are plentiful. For somebody who plans to go to Thailand for studies, such comments are often used for mental preparation. Those who study in Thailand for a while, however, call the vast majority of this comments just bloody nonsense.
On this page, we want to show some findings of serious researchers about the Thai people. Collection and publishing are time consuming, so come back from time to time to see whether something is new.
We want to start with an apparently old publication, written by Dr. Suntaree Komin, a Fulbright scholar, based on large samples among the Thai people in 1978 and 1981. From the perspective of cross-cultural psychology, she published her analysis of the values and behavioral patterns of the Thai people in 1991.As she writes, values and behavioral patterns certainly change over time, but they do not change over night. We leave it up to you how much might have changed since its publication.
Suntaree Komin, Psychology of the Thai People: Values and Behavioral Patterns, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Bangkok 1991, ISBN 974-85744-8-2, pp. 191-197 (without tables). References and tables are available in the original. Obvious typing errors edited.
Even after trying several emails asking for permission, there was no reaction by NIDA and no success in finding Dr. Suntaree. Therefore, we must admit, this publication is unauthorized. We nevertheless show excerpts here since this study appears to be the only serious one ever done by a Thai researcher, as opposed to the works of foreigners on describing Thai behaviors and values. Therefore, we consider it important to have access to this information, and publicly ask for the permission to do so. We would very much appreciate to be contacted by Dr. Suntaree to ask for her permission to publish these excerpts here.
Please note that the text was re-typed due to the poor quality of the original, which made scanning impossible. Even with all care, there might be additional typing errors added.
1. Ego Orientation
"Considerate Kreng jai" value
2. Grateful Relationship Orientation
"Bunkhun" value and exploitation
"Bunkhun" value and "Saang bunkhun"
3. Smooth Interpersonal Relationship Orientation
Thai cognition of social interaction
Successful Thai personality
Social interaction and the suppression of emotional expression
Thai social relation and Weeryudh's "affiliative personality"
Thai social relation and Mulder's "moral-amoral power" framework
4. Flexibility and Adjustment Orientation
Flexibility over principle and ideology
Flexibility and corruption
5. Religio-Psychical Orientation
Psychological function of some religious concepts
Perception of the concept of karma
Superstitious beliefs and behaviors
6. Education and Competence Orientation
"Form" over "content" value
"Form" and material possession value
"Form" and perception of "development"
8. Fun and Pleasure Orientation
Everyday life concerns and worries
Fun-pleasure orientation and differential perception of development need
9. Achievement-Task Orientation
Buddhist influence and economic development
Nature of achievement motivation of the Thai
Motivation values in private sector
Motivation values in government sector