chapter  5
18 Pages

The Primacy of the Interpersonal Self

This chapter explains that the individual and collective selves are different cognitive structures depending on context. Culture provides much of the context, and emphasizes or deemphasizes individualism or collectivism. The chapter focuses on the social psychological factors that increase or decrease individualism and collectivism, and the corresponding personality patterns, idiocentrism and allocentrism. The three of the personality factors are: idiocentrism-allocentrism, attitude-normative control, and habit. Allocentrics feel more comfortable in collectivist cultures, while idiocentrics feel more comfortable in individualist cultures. The cultural differences in individualism or collectivism determines how well particular people's personalities match the cultures and where they reside. Individuals who are economically independent are more idiocentric than individuals who depend financially on in-group members. In all cultures, those who have leadership roles are more idiocentric than those who have subordinate roles. Political systems are shaped in part by individualism and collectivism, and also pressure toward these cultural patterns.