Collectivism-Individualism in Everyday Social Life: The Middle Kingdom and the Melting Pot

Ladd Wheeler*, Harry T. Reis, Michael Harris Bond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Used the Rochester Interaction Record (RIR) to investigate the effects of individualism-collectivism on everyday social interaction. Triandis (in press) defined collectivism as placing great emphasis on (a) the views, needs, and goals of the in-group rather than of oneself, (b) social norms and duty defined by the in-group rather than behavior to get pleasure, (c) beliefs shared with the in-group rather than beliefs that distinguish oneself from in-group, (d) great readiness to cooperate with in-group members, and (e) intense emotional attachment to the in-group. University students in the United States, an individualistic country, and in Hong Kong, which is highly collectivistic, maintained the RIR for 2 weeks. Consistent with predictions, the Hong Kong students had longer but fewer interactions (half as many) with fewer people, had a higher percentage of group and task interactions, and indicated greater self-and other-disclosure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes

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