Individualism-collectivism revisited

F. Sushila Niles

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


    The constructs individualism and collectivism have been exten sively researched and written about by cross-cultural psychologists and seem to be widely accepted as important bases for explaining differences in behavior between people of diverse cultures. However, existing research evidence seems to raise questions about some specific characteristics identified as typical of individualist or collectivist behavior. Therefore, a study was undertaken to reexamine some aspects of these constructs. As fitting emic-type studies, the study was based on just two cultures, Australian and Sri Lankan, each representing one of these dimensions. The results distinguish broadly between individualist and collectivist orientation and confirm earlier evidence that self-reliance, long considered to be uniquely individualist, is an important attribute among collectivist cultures also. Clarity in conceptualization and refinement of measurement is suggested.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)315-341
    Number of pages27
    JournalCross-Cultural Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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