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Contextualism as an important facet of individualism-collectivism: Personhood beliefs across 37 national groups

Owe, E., Vignoles, V. L., Becker, M., Brown, R., Smith, P. B., Lee, S. W. S., Easterbrook, Matthew, Gadre, T., Zhang, X., Gheorghiu, M., Baguma, P., Tatarko, A., Aldhafri, S., Zinkeng, M., Schwartz, S. J., Des Rosiers, S. E., Villamar, J. A., Mekonnen, K. H., Regalia, C., Manzi, C., Brambilla, M., Kusdil, E., Cag lar, S., Gavreliuc, A., Martin, M., Jianxin, Z., Lv, S., Fischer, R., Milfont, T. L., Torres, A., Camino, L., Kreuzbauer, R., Gausel, N., Buitendach, J. H., Lemos, F. C. S., Fritsche, I., Moller, B., Harb, C., Valk, A., Espinosa, A., Jaafar, J. L., Yuki, M., Ferreira, M. C., Chobthamkit, P., Fulop, M., Chybicka, A., Wang, Q., Bond, M. H., Gonzalez, R., Didier, N., Carrasco, D., Cadena, M. P., Lay, S., Gartharsdottir, R. B., Nizharadze, G., Pyszczynski, T., Kesebir, P., Herman, G., de Sauvage, I., Courtois, M., Bourguignon, D., Ozgen, E., Guner, U. E., Yamakoglu, N., Abuhamdeh, S., Mogaji, A., Macapagal, M. E. J., Koller, S. H., Amponsah, B., Misra, G., Kapur, P., Vargas Trujillo, E., Balanta, P., Cendales Ayala, B., Schweiger Gallo, I., Prieto Gil, P., Clemares, R. L., Campara, G. and Jalal, B. 2013. Contextualism as an important facet of individualism-collectivism: Personhood beliefs across 37 national groups. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 44 (1) , pp. 24-45. 10.1177/0022022111430255

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Beliefs about personhood are understood to be a defining feature of individualism-collectivism (I-C), but they have been insufficiently explored, given the emphasis of research on values and self-construals. We propose the construct of contextualism, referring to beliefs about the importance of context in understanding people, as a facet of cultural collectivism. A brief measure was developed and refined across 19 nations (Study 1: N = 5,241), showing good psychometric properties for cross-cultural use and correlating well at the nation level with other supposed facets and indicators of I-C. In Study 2 (N = 8,652), nation-level contextualism predicted ingroup favoritism, corruption, and differential trust of ingroup and outgroup members, while controlling for other facets of I-C, across 35 nations. We conclude that contextualism is an important part of cultural collectivism. This highlights the importance of beliefs alongside values and self-representations and contributes to a wider understanding of cultural processes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: individualism–collectivism; personhood beliefs; cross-cultural differences; measurement invariance
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0022-0221
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:19

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