Horizontal and Vertical Dimensions of Individualism and Collectivism: A Theoretical and Measurement Refinement

Theodore M. Singelis, Harry C. Triandis, Dharm R S. Bhawuk, Michele J. Gelfand

Published: August 1995

Type: Text

  • society (and modernity)
  • Description:

    (Referenced in Circular no. 1)

    In developing a new scale, this article makes theoretical and mea- surement distinctions between vertical and horizontal individual- ism and collectivism. Vertical collectivism includes perceiving the selfas a part (or an aspect) of a collective and accepting inequalities within the collective. Horizontal collectivism includes perceiving the self as a part of the collective, but seeing all members of the collective as the same; thus equality is stressed. Vertical individualism in- cludes the conception of an autonomous individual and acceptance of inequality. Horizontal individualism includes the conception of an autonomous individual and emphasis on equality. Measurement of these constructs is preferable theoretically and empirically (better internal consistency) to either of the more general constructs of individualism and collectivism or the constituent elements of these constructs, such as self-reliance, hedonism, family integrity, and so on. The usefulness of these theoretical distinctions is demonstrated and their implications are discussed.

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