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A 178-nation index of collectivism

Project Participants: 

Evert Van de Vliert (University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and University of Bergen, Norway)

Individualism—Collectivism is a broad cultural syndrome associated with hundreds of values, beliefs, and practices. In general, this broadness of the construct is an advantage, simply because individualistic and collectivistic realities are cultural deltas rather than cultural canals. As so often, however, this strength is also a weakness. Conclusions about the consequences of cultural individualism versus collectivism can hardly be sufficiently accurate. And if, in cross-national research, we control for cultural individualism—collectivism, we don’t know precisely what we are controlling for.

The obvious solution to this problem is, of course, to create more specific indicators of components of cultural individualism versus collectivism. Such a more focused index has now been developed for the advantageous treatment of fellow nationals, relatives at large, and members of the nuclear family. This three-part index of cultural ingroup favoritism, covering 178 nations, will be published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. IACCP members who want to use the index in their current investigations or interventions can already obtain a listing of the 178 national baseline levels of cultural ingroup favoritism from Evert Van de Vliert (E.Van.de.Vliert@rug.nl).
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