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Cultural Differences between Collectivism and Individualism

Collectivists (i.e., people from Asian cultures)


  • Harmony

  • Face Saving

  • Filial Piety

  •  Moderation, Thrift and Equality


  • Strong extended family ties

  • Belief in vertical relationship(father-son)

  • Acceptance of deference in power

  • Belief in intergroup competition

  • Dislike interpersonal competition

  • Prefer long-term relationships
    Activities and Behaviors

  • Obligation to attend social events

  • Strong mutual support

  • Distrust of outgroups

  • Need protection of ingroups

  • Strong family attachment

  • Strong need for affiliation and nurturance

  • Social behavior tends to be long-term, intensive, involuntary, and occurs mostly within a few groups.

Individualist (i.e., people from North America or Western cultures)


  • Freedom

  • Honesty

  • Social Recognition

  • Comfort

  • Hedonism

  • Equality


  • Weak extended family ties

  • Belief in horizontal relationship (friend-friend)

  • Acceptance of horizontal relationship

  • Competition is acceptable at all levels

  • Prefer short-term relationships

Activities and Behaviors

  • Somewhat detached from ingroups

  • Trust outsider to a greater extent

  • More relaxed with outgroup members

  • Strong work attachment

  • Fewer consultations and a strong need for autonomy

  • Social behavior tends to be short-term, voluntary, less intensive, and involves little commitment.



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